Rick Cobenais and Ben Juarez were both reportedly involved in a physical altercation at a residence in the rural Round Lake Native American Community that spilled onto County Highway E before they were struck and killed by a southbound vehicle. Vicki Merrill, cousin to Cobenais's wife, told Fox 9 News Cobenais's wife, stepdaughter and grandson were watching when the crash occurred.
Sheriff's officials said the suspect vehicle is a black 1997 to 2003 Ford F-150 and should have heavy front-end damage to the headlights and undercarriage. They've only received a few tips and are urging the public to come forward with any information.
The St. Croix Chippewa Tribe is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
The black Ford F-150 may have two auxiliary amber warning lights mounted atop the cab. Witnesses saw a blue plastic barrel in the back of the truck and said it will likely have damage to the front, primarily near the undercarriage.
Investigators believe at least two people were in the pickup at the time of the hit-and-run. Both are believed to be white men wearing baseball caps and at least one was wearing blue jeans. The driver stopped briefly before heading southbound on County Road E once more.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff's Department at 715-485-8300