Police find “several” bodies at North Dakota business
Police responding to a medical call at a North Dakota business on Monday found “several” bodies, authorities said.
The Mandan Police Department said officers were called to the scene at 7:30 a.m. and found “several people who were deceased inside” the business in the city of about 22,000 just across the Missouri River west of Bismarck. Police did not say how many people were dead and did not immediately respond to a request for more details.
The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation said it was helping with the investigation but did not offer any details.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier confirmed that the business was RJR Maintenance and Management, a property management company where police and sheriff’s vehicles were clustered. The Bismarck Tribune reported that the business released a statement at 9:30 a.m. saying it was closed Monday.
No one answered the phone at the business, which is somewhat isolated despite its location in a business district near a busy main road known as The Strip. A large empty lot sits in the front, a golf course in back and a soccer complex to one side.
Gina Kessel, 52, of Mandan, showed up at the business Monday to pick up her son, Mitchell Kessel, an employee there. She said Mitchell “called me, said something is going on.” She said he didn’t tell her what.
The pair hugged, with both of them crying. Her son did not speak before going back behind a police line.
Suzette Wall said she has been calling her friends who work at RJR all morning, but she has not heard anything.
“I had a walk through scheduled and they never showed and I came here to see what was going on and I stayed,” Wall told CBS affiliate KXMB-TV. “they have been great people to lease from. Always very courteous and kind and caring and I just want to know that they are alright.”
Judy Praus, 70, came to RJR seeking information, saying she was a longtime friend of the owner and his family. She said she had no details on what happened.
“When I was notified, I shattered. Unbelievable,” she said.
Darin Helbling, a manager at a nearby bowling alley, said police asked to see his business’ surveillance video. Helbling said the video showed only a couple of vehicles on the road that separates the businesses since 10 p.m. Sunday.
RJR’s website identified it as a family-owned company that has been handling commercial and residential properties in Bismarck and Mandan for more than 20 years. Its services include collecting rent for landlords, paying mortgages, re-renting apartments, building and grounds maintenance, lawn care, and snow removal. It also rents out storage units.
A “Meet Our Team” feature on the website pictured 22 employees.