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Friendly Bonfire Ends in Bloody Murder
Police in Pana are piecing together evidence after a fatal stabbing this weekend.
The victim, 29-year-old James A. “Adam” Bertin, had just laid his cousin to rest with family and friends, who gathered for a bonfire to remember a man taken too soon.
“We just had a bonfire to remember Jake and it just turned into a tragedy," Hiliary Bodendieck said.
“When I was there about 20 [people were there] but I heard it grew throughout the night," Bodendieck said.
Throughout the night, tensions grew too. Police said at some point Bertin was stabbed before being rushed to the hospital, a blood-spattered car gut-wrenching proof of the violence.
“It's crazy," Ethan Cloe, a friend of the victim, said. "It was too early for him to go."
And it is too early for police to say much of anything about what happened and who may be responsible.
Friends of Bertin are blocking out the unknown and clinging to broken memories.
“I know he really liked riding motorcycles and just enjoying the outdoors and I know he liked to spend a lot of time with his friends, his fiancé and his children," Bodendieck said.
They are are all trying to understand why a celebration of life could turn into death.
“I just want the family to know that there will be peace brought to the community and to everybody that knew Adam," Cloe said.
Police would not say if they are actively looking for any suspects, but they are expecting to be able to release more information as the weekend progresses.
The investigation is being handled by the city, county and state police.