Local woman dies under suspicious circumstances

Posted 6/16/21

By Bruce Karnick [email protected] Tuesday, May 18th was the last time Lynda Dahl saw her daughter, 36-year-old Kelly Kocurek, alive. “Kelly had an addiction, and she was going to treatment …

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Local woman dies under suspicious circumstances


By Bruce Karnick

[email protected]

Tuesday, May 18th was the last time Lynda Dahl saw her daughter, 36-year-old Kelly Kocurek, alive.

“Kelly had an addiction, and she was going to treatment Wednesday,” Dahl explained. “Tuesday morning, she called me around 9 a.m. and she asked me, she says, ‘Mom, I forgot one of my suitcases, would you please bring it here.’ So I did.”

Kocurek was staying at the Coratel Inn and Suites in Hastings for a few days while she waited to be picked up for transport to treatment. Kocurek is a Hastings native who moved to Red Wing but still spent a lot of time with friends in Hastings. According to Dahl, Kocurek had recently become engaged. Dahl stated she did not agree with the engagement because she felt the man was dangerous. Dahl alleged that just a few weeks prior, she had to pick up Kocurek from a home in Lake City because the fiance had allegedly beat Kocurek up.

“I told Kelly by no means did I want [that man] in that hotel room and she promised me (he would not be),” said Dahl.

When Dahl arrived at the hotel to meet her daughter, the fiancé was with her, and she was promising her mom that everything was fine, so Dahl said her goodbyes for the day. “[Kocurek said] give me three kisses, she said, that is my lucky number. I said I know, so I gave her three kisses and then I told her good luck at treatment tomorrow, and then when she was walking away from me, she says ‘Love you mommy.’” That was the last she heard from her daughter. Approximately 10 minutes later, the male called her.

“He's hollering and screaming, saying Kelly's not responding and she’s not breathing I said ‘What? What? I was just there. What are you talking about? So, I went back to Hastings right away and went to the hotel, and there was probably about eight, nine squads there, a fire truck, and I went up and asked them what was going on,” added Dahl.

That is when Dahl found out that Kocurek was taken to Regions Hospital. According to Dahl, when she arrived to see her daughter, Kocurek had a broken nose, a black eye, the left side of her mouth was black and blue. She also stated that it looked like there were stab wounds and she had a big mark on her left arm. During the remainder of the week, Dahl spent most of her time at the hospital watching her daughter have numerous seizures, hoping for a miracle. That miracle never came, and Sunday afternoon, five days after she arrived, Dahl received the bad news. One of the doctors told her that Kocurek was brain dead and there was nothing more they could do. The doctor did not say from what.

“I went into the surgery room with her so they could take her off life support. I told Kelly she could go home and be with God. I gave her three kisses and the last kiss I gave her, her last breath went in my mouth, right down inside me. I felt it and I told the staff she just died. I looked over at the heart monitor and it went flatline, I will never forget that the rest of my life,” a tearful Dahl said.

According to Dahl, the last person to see her alive was Kocurek’s fiancé. His name had not been used in this story because no official reports have been obtained from Hastings Police

Kelly Kocurek Department. Allegedly the fiancé was with her from the time Dahl left the hotel and the time Dahl had received the phone call from him. According to reports that were found regarding the male that was allegedly with Kocurek, he reportedly has a record that allegedly includes theft, prison time, violence, potential sexual assault, and terroristic threats. Dahl did state that Kocurek helped get the male out of prison just a few months ago.

The Journal spoke to Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer Tuesday morning. The death is being investigated as a suspicious death. The main delay in processing information for this case is waiting for the official cause of death from the Ramsey County Coroner. Because the case is still an active investigation, no further official details can be released, including names of any suspects or potential cause of death. A side effect of the investigation being active, Kocurek’s body cannot be released to the family for funeral arrangements.

Kocurek’s friends and family want justice and closure. Saturday, June 19, there is a vigil planned at the Coratel Inn at 7 p.m. and recently, they held a benefit to help raise funds for the funeral as soon as they are able to have it.