Autopsy: NDSU Student Was Victim of Homicide

PHOTO COURTESY | MOORHEAD POLICE DEPARTMENT
PHOTO COURTESY | MOORHEAD POLICE DEPARTMENT
Stock Photo of a shoe similar to the white size 9 1/2 Nike Air Jordan shoe missing from the crime scene.

The death of NDSU student Thomas Bearson was ruled a homicide Thursday.

A City of Moorhead release said the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Bearson’s death was the result of homicidal violence.

Bearson, 18, was reported missing on Saturday and was last seen in north Fargo at 3:40 a.m.

Bearson’s body was found in Moorhead on Tuesday at Larry’s RV Sales in the 3000 block of 24th Avenue South, police said.

The body was recovered more than five miles away from where Bearson was last seen.

“Thomas Bearson’s white Nike Air Jordan left tennis shoe (size 9 1/2) and his cell phone have not been located. The cell phone is a silver colored iPhone 5. Similar photographs of these items are being released with the request for the public to contact police if either of these items are located,” the release said.

Attempts to contact Bearson’s cell phone failed, Vettel said Monday.

The Fargo PD, Vettel said, was in contact with Bearson’s cell phone company.

On Tuesday, Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes said it was too early to tell if foul play was the case in Bearson’s death.

Ternes said there is no reason to believe the public is in danger Tuesday.

“With more than 30 years of personal knowledge of the safety and security at NDSU, this is the first incident of this nature, and believed to be the first ever,” Ray Boyer, the director of University Police wrote in a campus-wide Listserv. We have always found our campus to be safe and secure.”

The Fargo PD had taken over the case because they had more resources than University Police, Fargo Lt. Joel Vettel said Monday. Because the body was discovered in Moorhead, Minnesota authorities took over the investigation.

PHOTO COURTESY | MOORHEAD POLICE DEPARTMENT Stock photo of a cell phone similar to Thomas Bearson's, which was missing from the crime scene.
PHOTO COURTESY | MOORHEAD POLICE DEPARTMENT
Stock photo of a cell phone similar to Thomas Bearson’s, which was missing from the crime scene.

Anyone with information that may further this investigation is asked to call the Red River Regional Dispatch Center at 701-451-7660.

This is a developing story, more details to come.

 Co-News Editor Benjamin Norman contributed to this story.

 

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