Cass County Jail inmate died of natural causes, sheriff says

Luke Laducer was a military veteran, "the life of the party," and had a big personality with an infectious smile, his obituary said.

Cass County Jail in Fargo. Forum file photo
A report commissioned in 2018 found that the booking space in the Cass County Jail in Fargo is inadequate for the amount of people processed in the facility. Forum file photo

FARGO — A Cass County Jail inmate died of natural causes last week, Sheriff Jesse Jahner said in a news release Wednesday, Dec. 23.

A preliminary autopsy report listed 41-year-old Luke Michael Laducer’s death as natural, according to the news release. The Fargo man died Friday after suffering a medical emergency in his cell, Jahner said.

Laducer was born and grew up in Belcourt, N.D., before moving to St. Cloud, Minn., according to his obituary. He then moved to Fargo. He served in the Army for four years starting in September 2001. He worked at Turtle Mountain High School, the obituary said.

His obituary called him "the life of the party," adding he had a big personality and infectious smile.


PHOTO: Luke Laducer
Luke Laducer, a 41-year-old inmate at the Cass County Jail, died after suffering a medical emergency on Friday night, Dec. 18. Cass County Sheriff's Office / Submitted Photo

Laducer was arrested early Friday on an arrest warrant in connection to a Class B felony charge of unauthorized use of personal identifying information to obtain credit over $1,000, according to court records. Law enforcement said he was intoxicated when they arrested him, but medical staff cleared him before he was booked into the jail, Jahner said.

Throughout the day, staff checked on Laducer and saw no indication that he needed medical assistance until 5:16 p.m. Friday, according to the release. A deputy said he noticed something wrong with Laducer, Jahner explained.

Officers administered CPR and other life-saving efforts before Laducer died, Jahner said.

The death remains under investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Cass County Coroner’s Office, Jahner said.

Jahner said he has been in contact with Laducer’s family.

“Please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers and I ask that you continue to respect their privacy as they grieve his loss,” Jahner said.

Laducer is survived by four children, his obituary said.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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