Hundreds remember Willmar woman
WILLMAR -- The murder of a 79-year-old Willmar woman has reached far past the central Minnesota city and includes ties to Red Wing.
Three Willmar teenagers were charged Friday with Lila Warwick's murder. They are Brok Nathaniel Junkermeier, 19, Devon James Jenkins, 16, and Robert Inocencio Warwick, 17, who is Lila Warwick's grandson. All are in custody.
Junkermeier was charged with intentional second-degree murder, without premeditation, in Kandiyohi County District Court. Jenkins and Warwick were charged as juveniles. They each face two counts of aiding and abetting murder.
Posts from friends on Jenkins' Facebook page reference Red Wing. The Red Wing School District has records of a Devon Jenkins who attended school here from April of 2010 to January 2011, in seventh and eighth grades.
Warwick's sister-in-law lives in Red Wing, but declined to talk about the family's loss with the R-E.
An estimated 500 people attended the funeral Saturday at Willmar's Redeemer Lutheran Church for Lila Mae Warwick.
Pastor Greg Enterline said it's hard to believe that someone would take the life of a woman who cared so much about others and about her faith. He said many people are going to miss her. Enterline said Warwick left a positive impression on most people.
She served as a Sunday school teacher, financial secretary, preschool volunteer and on the board of evangelism at Redeemer.
"I suspect Lila may not have known what to think of so many people coming to her funeral,'' Enterline said Sunday. "But I think she probably would have been happy to have people hear about her savior. I know her faith was really important to her and I think she made that clear in her life. I think she would have liked people to have heard the Gospel.''
A complaint alleges Robert Warwick disliked his grandmother and believed she had more than $40,000 in a safe in her home. Police believe he and Junkermeier had been planning to kill the woman and steal her money for some time.
Junkermeier allegedly waited in the garage of the home for Warwick in the early hours of July 29. When she entered the garage, the complaint states, he forced the victim into her home. He then ordered her to write him a check for $1,500 before strangling her and stabbing her multiple times with a 20-inch blade.
In a statement released Saturday, Enterline said he doesn't have an answer why God would allow something like this to happen.
"I can say that the world is a sinful place, and although that's true it doesn't really make us feel the least bit better about the situation. Especially for those of you who knew Lila personally, this is a bitter pill to swallow,'' the pastor said.
"Yet, while God doesn't give us answers to all of our questions, he does give us answers to the questions that are most important to our faith and our eternal welfare,'' Enterline said.
Anne Jacobson and Danielle Killey of the R-E contributed to this story.