Three years after Terry Brisk was shot to death while deer hunting in central Minnesota, his family remains desperate for answers and the sheriff remains committed to finding his killer.
"It's very hard," said Terry's mother, Babe Brisk. "This person is out and about and I have a son who's dead."
She's 73; her husband is 82. Before they die, they want to know who killed their 41-year-old son. "It's heartbreaking. [Terry] has children who he should be doing things with and taking care of."
Babe Brisk talks to the sheriff every three weeks for an update on the investigation.
"I know they're working on it, but they just can't say much," she said. "[The sheriff] wants to keep the evidence to himself, because it's information only the killer knows."
Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen hopes he'll eventually have answers. "We're working on a lot of things that we already know and some things that have to be cleared up," he said. "We want to keep this story alive."
The Sheriff's Office recently released a video asking once again for the public's help. Larsen wants the community to keep talking about this case in hopes of jostling memories.
It was a Monday — Nov. 7, 2016 — when Terry Brisk returned to a family hunting spot on land where his parents operate a gravel pit in Belle Prairie Township, about 10 miles northeast of Little Falls. Few people would have known that he had taken off work that day to hunt there, his family said.
His parents stopped at the gravel pit about 3:30 p.m. and noticed his pickup truck was there. "We didn't pay much attention," Babe Brisk said. Her son was an avid deer hunter.
Her grandson, who was 16 at the time, was on the school bus when he noticed his father's pickup at the gravel pit and he headed to the woods to join his father. He asked his grandparents for a ride but his mother took him instead, Babe Brisk said.
Sitting in a blind, he sent a few texts to his father. "He knew he couldn't be too far away because he could hear the phone pinging," Babe Brisk said. But there was no reply. He called, but there was no answer. Following the sound of a ringing phone, he found his father lying on the ground. His Winchester .30-30 rifle was missing.
"It wasn't a random accident," the sheriff said. Brisk was shot with his own rifle, which was found in the surrounding area the following spring. "This was an intentional act of violence. … There's no doubt that Terry would have seen the killer and probably had some interaction with that person."
"We're not going to give up until we know the answers that the Brisk family wants and our community deserves," he said.
In the meantime, Brisk's father stops nearly daily at the memorial he and his family erected near where his son was killed. He watches for deer and turkeys, knowing his son would appreciate the view if he were there. "I miss him," Virgil Brisk said.
The huge granite rock that serves as a canvas for the memorial and his son's gravestone at the cemetery in Belle Prairie came from the family's gavel pit. Days before he was killed, Terry Brisk helped load the boulder onto a truck because his parents wanted it for their own gravestones. "Little did Terry know that the rock he was loading was his own tombstone," his mother said.
Nearby, the family erected a 12-foot yellow cross, hoping that Brisk's killer will see it. "Every time they drive by, it will remind them," Babe Brisk said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Morrison County Sheriff's Office at 320-632-9233.