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Human remains found at NW Minn. farmstead match missing person case

Kayla Louise Westcott and Jason Charles Jensen1 / 3
Jason Charles Jensen2 / 3
Kayla Louise Westcott3 / 3

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Human remains found at a Clay County farmstead last week were confirmed to be those of a missing person in connection with a murder case, according to a Clay County Sheriff's Office news release.

The remains found in Hitterdal were identified by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office in St. Paul on June 26, as belonging to Troy Edmond Yarbrough, who was reported missing out of Wahpeton, N.D., police said.

He was last seen with Jason Charles Jensen and Kayla Louise Westcott, who are each currently being held at Clay County Jail under second felony charges of aiding and abetting murder.

Police said dental evidence collected at the farmstead, which court records list as Jensen's address, was compared and matched with existing dental records for Yarbrough.

Court documents filed on June 25 originally identified Yarbrough as "TY" before confirmation from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office on June 26.

According to court documents:

The Clay County Sheriff's Office learned June 15 that a Wahpeton man, later identified as Yarbrough, had been missing since May 18 and was last seen with two people, later identified as Westcott, of Ada, and Jensen.

An officer spoke with Westcott at the farmstead on June 15. Westcott first indicated she did not know who the officer was talking about but then said she hadn't seen Yarbrough in more than a month. Jensen and Westcott told another officer they hadn't seen Yarbrough in over a month and that he might be in Las Vegas.

Westcott later told investigators she and Jensen picked up Yarbrough in Wahpeton on May 18 and came to the Hitterdal farmstead. She said Yarbrough approached her in a large red shed on the farm on May 20 and he told her "it's either you or me."

At this point, she said Jensen hit Yarbrough with a rake handle, then hit him with an ax and asked Westcott to do the same. Westcott said she swung the ax but stopped before striking Yarbrough.

Westcott told officers Yarbrough's body was left in the shed overnight. She and Jensen returned the next day to find Yarbrough still alive, Westcott said, and Jensen hit Yarbrough in the head with a cinder block, killing him.

She told officers they tried to burn the body and bury it behind the house. Court documents did not reveal a motive for the killing.

On June 22, investigators found another burial site with what appeared to be human remains, according to court documents.

Jensen and Westcott are each being held on $2 million bail for unconditional release, or $1 million bail with conditions of release, which include abstaining from alcohol, staying within Minnesota unless otherwise approved and remaining law-abiding.

Their next hearing is set for 10 a.m. Friday, July 6.

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