19 Years Ago Today: Cally Jo Larson Murder in Waseca

Knutson Leader Injury 2 New

(Waseca, MN) – A sad milestone in southern Minnesota as today marks the 19th anniversary of the murder of 12-year-old Cally Jo Larson of Waseca.

Larson was killed after returning home from school on April 20, 1999. She was tied up, sexually assaulted, stabbed and hanged. Her partially nude body was found by her older sister about an hour later.

Just over a year after the killing, Lorenzo Bahena Sanchez pleaded guilty to first degree murder for Larson’s death. He is now serving a life term at a prison in Huntsville, Texas. Sanchez is expected to be eligible for parole starting in 2030.

Sanchez was an illegal immigrant who had been living in Waseca for a couple of years under a false name. On the day of Larson’s murder, he broke in to burglarize their home and left, but returned to look for his ID card which he had lost – and that’s when Cally Jo came home.

The knives used in the murder, which belonged to the Larsons, were never found.

In an interview following the Sanchez sentencing, Cally’s mother was asked if she could ever forgive Sanchez, to which she replied. “God is able to do what I can’t do. It’s out of my hands.”

The Waseca Police Department is asking residents to “Please take a moment to remember Cally Jo Larson and her family today. She is loved and missed by so many people.”

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