MINOT, N.D. — A missing 54-year-old Minot man has been found dead by railroad tracks near Sawyer, about 20 miles south of Minot.

Ron Petersen, who had been missing since the Fourth of July, was found by volunteers searching in a helicopter along the Canadian Pacific tracks west of Sawyer about 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, July 7.

His body was obscured from sight at ground level as it was in an area of tall grass. A ground search earlier on Tuesday was conducted near where Peterson was found.

The Ward County Sheriff's Department is conducting the death investigation.

Peterson's car had been found in the area on Sunday and there were sighting reports of him walking on the tracks in the area.

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Peterson was reported missing from his home in Minot by family and friends and his family said he was not acting normal prior to his disappearance and there were concerns about his mental health.