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Four youths arrested in vampire slaying

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Four teenagers have been arrested in the stabbing and beating death of a man whose body was found in the Mississippi River, and authorities said Friday at least one of the youths drank the victim's blood.

The four boys, at least one of whom was 'very interested' in the subject of vampires, are believed to have gone camping with the victim, Donald Gall, 30, when a fight erupted, authorities said. Sherbourne County Sheriff Dick Witschen said there were indications Gall, who was beaten and stabbed to death, 'had been mean to or had pushed two of the suspects around a little bit and they were unhappy about that.'

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He said one, possibly two, of the youths drank Gall's blood before throwing his body into the river. Gall's last know residence was St. Cloud and he previously had lived in the Foley area although he had no permanent address at the time of this death, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Two of the suspects are brothers, Timothy Erickson, 19, and Mark Erickson, 18, both of St. Cloud. The names of the two juveniles -- a 13-year-old runaway from the St. Cloud area and a 17-yea-old who had recently moved to St. Cloud from western Stearns County -- were not released.

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The four were arrested Thursday.

The Ericksons were to appear in Sherbourne District Court Friday afternoon. The juveniles were being processed in juvenile court.

'At least one, if not two, of the suspects we have in custody did consume some of the victim's blood,' the sheriff said. 'They talked about vampirism not as a cult, but that at least one of the individuals was very interested or had talked about vampirism every since watching the movie 'The Lost Boys.''

But he said there was no indication that the interest in vampires extended to participation in any kind of a cult.

'We don't feel that this is a cult,' Witschen said. 'We have found nothing that indicates any group or any meetings or any literature.'

'We do know that at least one or two of the suspects, from the statements we got, did consume blood at the scene; not that much of it but they did. This could have played an important role in the murder, but there also are indications that the (victim) had been mean to or pushed two of the suspects around a little bit and there were unhappy about it.'

Gall's body was found Thursday in about 2 feet of water about 20 yards from shore. His throat and one wrist had been slit.

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Witschen said a man walked into the St. Cloud Police Department about 4 a.m. Thursday and told police that friends told him they had murdered a man on the river bank Monday night during a camping trip. Police went to the river and found Gall's body.

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