It didn't take law enforcement officers long to locate the hammer allegedly used in the home invasion-homicide last month in Blue Earth.
The discovery was made a day after 29-year-old Brian Daniel Freeman was arrested for the murder of a 37-year-old Blue Earth man in his home.
Faribault County Sheriff Mike Gormley says authorities received good information from the defendant facing several murder charges in the case.
The hammer and a pry bar were found in a ditch near a bridge just outside of Ceylon.
"It took us a awhile to find it because it had snowed," Gormley says.
"It (hammer) was pretty much where he described it might be," he adds.
Gormley, four deputies, three Blue Earth police officers and two agents of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension spent about two hours scouring the area before finding the two items.
"We got extremely lucky. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack," says Blue Earth Police Chief Tom Fletcher.
Despite having a general idea of where to look Fletcher says weather conditions made the search more difficult.
"We found the hammer first, a little bit of it was showing. It was tucked underneath a tree stump. The crow bar was covered by snow, so we got lucky," Fletcher says.
The hammer and pry bar were found about 20 to 30 yards from the road, says Gormley, and were sent to the BCA's crime lab in St. Paul for DNA analysis.
Gormley would not speculate how the pry bar may have been used in the crime.
Freeman is charged with one count of second-degree murder. He also faces three charges of second-degree attempted murder and three counts of third-degree attempted murder.
In a court complaint, Freeman reportedly drove from Ceylon to Blue Earth on Sunday night, Feb. 19.
Authorities believe the murder, beating of his wife and two other young females with a hammer occurred late that night or early Monday morning.
Freeman was taken into custody late Monday night.
Court papers filed in Faribault County District Court say Freeman told authorities he tossed a hammer out of his pickup's window on his way back to Ceylon.