WADENA, Minn. — A Wadena County jailer/dispatcher went beyond his regular duties to help someone fulfill a wish from across the country.
Karla Ann Ruter, formerly of Wadena, is now living in a sailboat off the coast of Florida. She called the Wadena Police Department looking for help. It wasn’t something most people would consider an emergency, but it was something that was very concerning to Ruter.
For years she has visited the grave of her son Erik Piepkorn, who she said died at just 4 months old, a week before Christmas in 1986. Erik was buried next to family members in front of the mausoleum in the Wadena Cemetery.
This year, Ruter, who is disabled and now living thousands of miles from her son’s resting place, said she was so desperate for help to find someone that might check on her son’s grave that she called the police.
Ruter said she was initially told her request wasn't one officers would typically respond to, however, a Wadena County jailer/dispatcher heard her plea and took action. When asked about the good deed, he said he didn't want any recognition, saying he only did what anyone else would do.
He bought some flowers and placed them on Erik’s gravestone. He then took a picture and sent it off to Ruter, who was more than happy to receive the message.
“He did not have to do that, but it meant the world to me,” Ruter said. “It was very special for that man to take the time to do that.”
Every year when Christmas comes around, Ruter experiences sadness due to the loss of her son so close to the holiday. Thanks to a dispatcher who did more than just hear the cry for help, her Christmas was a little brighter this year.