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Well-known anti-abortion activist Habiger dies, apparently from natural causes

David Alan Habiger. a well-known anti-abortion activist who also had a run in with authorities over his salvage yard last year, was found dead Tuesday in Casselton, N.D. He apparently died of natural causes.

CASSELTON, N.D. - David Alan Habiger, a well-known anti-abortion activist who recently had run-ins with Cass County authorities over his rural salvage yard, has died, apparently of natural causes, according to the Sheriff's Office.

He was 49 years old.

Authorities found Habiger deceased during a welfare check at 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at his Casselton home, Chief Deputy Jim Thoreson said.

A coworker of Habiger's who was supposed to crush cars with him today at Habiger's salvage yard west of Amenia told authorities he'd been trying unsuccessfully to reach Habiger all day Tuesday, Thoreson said.

Habiger's body was sent to the state medical examiner's officer in Bismarck for an autopsy.

"David was an interesting and colorful fellow," Thoreson said. "I didn't always agree with him, but I enjoyed the discussions I had with him over the years."

Habiger was associated with The Lambs of Christ, an anti-abortion group that sought to close North Dakota's only abortion clinic in Fargo.

During a protest in 1991, an emotional Habiger challenged Fargo police to help storm the clinic, according to Forum archives.

A Fargo police sergeant tried to calm him, but there was a scuffle and five officers forced Habiger to the ground and handcuffed him. Charges against Habiger later were dropped for insufficient evidence.

In February, Habiger was convicted for a misdemeanor charge of obstructing government function stemming from an incident in December, during which he was arrested by deputies after he became irate when tow trucks arrived at his property to remove vehicles that had expired licenses.

In return for his plea, prosecutors dismissed a case from last June, when Habiger was arrested and charged with obstruction after he became upset with officials who searched his salvage yard.

Habiger was sentenced to a year of confinement, with all but three days suspended. He was given credit for serving the three days.

According to a sheriff's press release, Habiger was last seen alive at 10:30 p.m. Monday.