FARGO — Fargo police have identified the woman who was found dead after authorities responded to a report of a fire at a Fargo apartment building on Thursday morning, Aug. 1.

Police said Friday afternoon, Aug. 2, that Denise Marie Anderson, 52, of Fargo was the person found deceased in the apartment at 417 12th St. N. on Thursday morning.

Sheldon George Davis, 44, was arrested at another north Fargo home later Thursday after police received a tip from a citizen, according to Lt. Chris Helmick of the city police investigations division.

Helmick said Thursday the female victim died of traumatic injuries suffered before the fire was started.

After a team of about eight detectives worked at the scene throughout the day, they determined that after the investigation and collecting evidence that the woman's injuries "weren't caused by the fire or smoke."

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An autopsy will be performed on the woman Friday morning.


Helmick said the two apparently knew each other and that police were still investigating the nature of the relationship.

The death was discovered after a caller reported smoke in an three-story apartment at 417 12th St. N. across the street from the Country Hearth plant and near the city's emergency food shelter at about 9:30 a.m.

Helmick said police and the fire department responded and the detectives started working on the case after the fire was put out. The detectives were still working at the scene into the night, with at least some wearing protective gloves and boots.

"We have a lot of work yet to do," the lieutenant said at about 8:30 pm. at a news conference outside the apartment.

Watch the Fargo PD news conference:

The other occupants of the apartment building were evacuated, although Helmick didn't know how many other people lived in the building. The top floor of the building where the death occurred looked charred from the outside with a top floor window broken out.

Police tape surrounded about a half block area and a Fargo police "critical incident command vehicle" was on the scene.

Helmick said Davis was arrested through the help of the U.S. Marshals Service and the city metro street crimes unit.

According to North Dakota court records, Davis had been convicted of felony terrorizing in 2013 in Cass County.

It's believed to be the fourth homicide case in the city this year. The other three homicides were the January murder-suicide of an elderly couple, the fatal shooting of a food truck owner in June, and the death of a man after an altercation between two patients at a memory care facility that went unreported to the public for almost three months and ended with no charges filed.