Man faces charges in Morris case

by Hannah Weikel

The man last seen with University of Minnesota-Morris student Laura Schwendemann in mid-October was charged in Douglas County District Court on Monday



The court charged Nickolas McArdell  for unlawful interference with a body, a gross misdemeanor, for which he could face up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.
McArdell said he and Schwendemann were using intravenous methamphetamine and marijuana while driving through Douglas County on Oct. 14 when the 18-year-old girl passed out and stopped breathing, according to a criminal complaint.
The two were last seen near Alexandria, Minn., before Schwendemann was found dead in an Orange Township farm field about two weeks later.
The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office reported a “significant presence” of methamphetamine and THC in Schwendemann’s system, citing no other apparent cause of death, according to the complaint.
McArdell faced unrelated charges in the past, including domestic assault and abuse,  traffic violations and drug possession.