Minneapolis police solve Uptown cold case 32 years later

Almost 32 years after Mary Catherine Steinhart was murdered in her Uptown apartment, Minneapolis Police believe they have found the man responsible for her death. 

Using new DNA technology, two Minneapolis police sergeants were able to determine it was Robert William Skogstad who stabbed and sexually assaulted the 22-year-old woman, according to a MPD press release. 

Skogstad, now 57, was arrested in Kansas in early September. According to police, he was the caretaker of Steinhart’s apartment building on the 3200 block of Girard Avenue. 

The sergeants, Barb Moe and Tammy Diedrich, re-opened the case in 2008. In September 2010, a DNA database matched  DNA from the Uptown murder to that of a man who been convicted of sexual assault in California in 1988. It was Skogstad’s, and in both cases he sexually assaulted his victims and covered their faces with pillows. 

Moe and Diedrich traveled to Edgerton, Kan., in February 2011. They interviewed Skogstad, who denied knowing Steinhart or having sexual contact with her, according to the press release. He could not explain the presence of his DNA on the victim or in her apartment. 

Skogstad is being charged with second-degree murder. 

— Nick Halter