Robin Enockson Murder: Where is Edward Reitan Now?

Image Credit: Brian Backes/Find a Grave

In 1990, a cattle rancher named Robin Enockson was found dead in his Driscoll, North Dakota, trailer home. Despite the attempts to get to the bottom of the case, the investigators could not find any concrete evidence or a culprit to point fingers at. It would take more than a decade for the authorities to uncover the case when the perpetrator decided to admit his heinous crime. The episode titled ‘Marriage Into Mayhem’ of Investigation Discovery’s ‘Murder in the Heartland’ chronicles the long-unsolved murder case of Robin while his loved ones and experts share their views on the same.

Robin Enockson’s Father Discovered His Lifeless Body in His Mobile Home

Robin Allen Enockson was brought into this world in 1956 in North Dakota by Cliff Enockson and his wife. Growing up to be a cattle rancher and farmer, Robin lived a happy life and seemingly had lots of friends in the community. Later in life, he got himself a mobile home, where he lived with his wife. It was located right across the street where his father’s house was situated. Everything seemed to be going fine in the Enockson family until December 20, 1990, when Robin’s lifeless body was discovered in his trailer by his father, Cliff, who could not fathom what he had seen.

Image Credit: Brian Backes/Find a Grave

Without any delay, Cliff dialed 911 and informed the police about the gruesome murder of his 34-year-old son. When the authorities arrived at the scene of the crime and inspected the body of Robin, they concluded that he had been dead for more than a day or so. Upon sending the body for autopsy, it was determined that the cause of his death was multiple gunshot wounds fired from a .22-caliber rifle. The detectives spent time at the crime scene and collected all the pieces of evidence they could but did not find anything concrete. In order to contribute to the search for information about his unexpected death, the Enockson family put out a $20,000 reward for anyone who helped find leads or evidence. However, the offer was withdrawn when nothing came out of it.

Robin Enockson’s Killer Confessed to His Crime After 14 Years

Despite the investigators’ best efforts, there was no significant development in the murder case of Robin Enockson for several years. So, it became a cold case without any lead and evidence, most of which were reportedly lost due to a blizzard in the area. Although there were a few suspects and persons of interest, including a guy named Edward Reitan, none of them were charged as there was not enough evidence against them. After the case remained unsolved for about 14 years, there was a huge and unexpected development in the case when the suspect, Edward Reitan, came forward and confessed his involvement in the 1990 murder of Robin.

On May 20, 2004, the Washington native Edward, who was aged 51 at the time, called the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department from a service station across the street from the police station and admitted his crime to the authorities. Edward resided in North Dakota at the time of Robin’s murder, but at the time of his confession, he lived in the Tri-Cities area. On May 20, 2004, around 4:15 a.m., Edward was taken into custody and brought to the station for questioning. He claimed that he used to live in the basement of Robin’s mother-in-law’s house, and he learned about the heated argument Robin had with his wife.

So, on the fateful December 1990 night, Edward went to Robin’s mobile home, woke him up, and confronted him about the fight with his wife, leading to an argument between the two. After a while, Robin went back to bed, but Edward’s anger did not calm down. Then, as per the suspect’s claims, he grabbed a gun and shot him multiple times. Admittedly, he took four guns from the crime scene and fled the scene. Upon his official admission of the crime, Edward Reitan was charged with the murder of Robin Enockson and held at the Burleigh County jail without a bond. As the detectives dived deeper into Edward’s criminal history, they learned that it dated back to 1975, and he had been involved in various convictions, including DUI, domestic violence, forgery, theft, escape, and misdemeanor drug offenses.

Moreover, he had also been convicted in 1980 for kidnapping, robbery, and gross sexual imposition for abducting and raping a waitress from a Marmarth bar. However, the last piece of the puzzle still remained unsolved as the four guns Edward used in the killing were still not found. After a couple of decades, in 2010, a few construction workers in Driscoll came across the four weapons wrapped in a tarp and reported them to the police. When the authorities sent them to the crime lab workers, they tied the guns to the 1990 Robin Enockson case, thus solving the entire murder case.

Edward Reitan Has Supposedly Gotten Out of Jail

Initially, in an attempt to negotiate a shorter sentence, Edward Reitan pleaded not guilty. But a few months later, in August 2004, he ended up pleading guilty to shooting Robin Enockson to death in December 1990. After getting convicted of the murder, the 52-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison on October 28, 2004, with a possibility of parole in 30 years. However, the parole eligibility date could be reduced by another ten years, but only if he behaved well during his time behind bars. From the looks of it, Edward has seemingly been released from prison and lives a quiet life away from any media attention.

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