FARGO — Feb. 22 will mark the six-month anniversary of when 27-year-old Gunnar Syverson was found dead at a home in Hamberg, N.D.
Rumors have circulated as to how he died. Now his family says they need to set the record straight. They say the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation has told them Syverson's death is a homicide investigation.
"I have to know what happened to my baby boy," said Gunnar's mom, Pamela Syverson.
Gunnar was her miracle baby. She had 12 miscarriages.
"Gunnar was the only one the good Lord let me keep," she said.
His mom and dad describe him as a softy with a mushy heart, which they were reminded of with a story a gas station clerk told them after Gunnar's death.
"There was this little old man, and he was going to fill his tank, and he was shaking. (Gunnar) set his stuff on the counter, went out, put the man in his car and filled his tank," Pamela recalled.
His parents say the 27-year-old wasn't afraid to show affection with a hug.
"Every night, he would come up at the end of the night before he went to bed and give me a hug. He would say, 'I love you, Dad,'" said Bob Schnabel.
Gunnar was found dead outside his friend's home, setting off months of rumors. He had reportedly been chased on his motorcycle and put the bike down near the home.
"I thought he died in a motorcycle wreck. I thought he hung himself. People deserve to know the truth," Pamela said of the rumors that were spreading.
Gunnar's mom said her son was found hanging from a shrub outside the home. She says the BCI told her his death was staged as a suicide to cover up a murder. Several people were reportedly at the home that day.
"Not just the one who had his hands around his throat, but everyone there who knows what happened and watched him die," Pamela said.
No charges have been filed. The Wells County Sheriff's Office and county prosecutor did not return messages. The BCI has a policy that it does not comment on open cases.
Gunnar's parents said the BCI informed them two people of interest have been detained in Texas on unrelated charges.
"The BCI said we are dealing with some very dangerous people," Pamela said.
Both Pamela and Bob said Gunnar had been thinking about getting a gun. However, they both reminded him he wasn't allowed to have one due to prior drug convictions.
"He was really nervous the last while, really nervous," Pamela said.
Pamela Syverson had a photo taken of her talking to her son right before they closed the casket at the funeral. She recalled what she told him.
"Sorry I couldn't save you, I couldn't protect you and how much I love you, and I don't want to be in the world without you, but I will fight and get justice," she recalled.
Pamela Syverson said she is constantly told that tragedies heal with time, but for her it gets worse everyday.
She had this message for those who know what happened to her son:
"Just come forward, and I'll ask them to be lenient with you. As much as I don't want to, I will," she said.
An anonymous donor is offering a $25,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved.
Anyone with information is asked to call the BCI at 701-328-5500. A GoFundMe site has also been set up to help with funeral costs.