Body believed to be missing NDSU student found north of Menard's in south Moorhead
MOORHEAD - A body found here Tuesday morning is believed to be a missing North Dakota State University student. Searchers in Moorhead, acting on information that was gleaned in the investigation of Tommy Bearson's disappearance, found the body of...
MOORHEAD – A body found here Tuesday morning is believed to be a missing North Dakota State University student.
Searchers in Moorhead, acting on information that was gleaned in the investigation of Tommy Bearson’s disappearance, found the body of a deceased person late Tuesday morning that matches the description of Bearson, Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes said at a 1 p.m. news conference at Fargo City Hall.
The body, found outdoors in a nonresidential area at about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, matched both the physical description of Bearson and clothing similar to that the 18-year-old NDSU freshman was last seen wearing, Ternes said. Searchers found the body after about 20 minutes of searching the area.
Bearson, of Sartell, Minn., disappeared early Saturday, last seen about six blocks south of his dormitory room at Reed Hall, in the 800 block of 14th Street North.
Police, search dogs and firefighters spent much of Monday searching for the freshman, including a cursory search of the Red River.
Ternes would not disclose at the news conference where the body was found, but Moorhead police Lt. Tory Jacobson said a body was found in the sales lot of Larry’s RV Sales & Services in south Moorhead just north of Menard’s during a search for Bearson there.
An area of the lot was taped off and being guarded by police. Moorhead police investigators and Clay County Attorney Brian Melton, the county’s top prosecutor, were on the scene, as was the Fargo Police Department’s critical incident command vehicle. Jacobson said investigators were waiting for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s mobile crime lab to arrive.
The missing person investigation, which was being led by the Fargo Police Department, is transitioning to a death investigation that will be conducted by Minnesota authorities, Ternes said.
The Moorhead Police Department and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will take the lead from here on, he said.
Ternes said it was too early to know how the person died, but he said there is no information indicating the public is at risk.
At the news conference, NDSU President Dean Bresciani urged the community to avoid imagining what might have happened before investigators come to conclusions.
“Conversations like that can be exceptionally painful to family members that are grieving over this,” he said.
Ternes said that conclusions could be “several days if not weeks” away.
Ternes added that after conversing with Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger, he believed Minnesota authorities would “exhaust all of their resources to come to conclusions.”
Bearson’s family has been notified of the discovery. Ternes said he was on the phone with them when he learned of the body being found, and he immediately relayed that information to them.