MANDAN, N.D. -- Four people are dead, their bodies discovered Monday morning at a Mandan business after what authorities are calling a “multiple homicide.” The public is not in danger, according to police, who are searching for a suspect.
The victims, three men and one woman, have not been positively identified, according to Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler, therefore next of kin have not yet been notified.
Mandan police responded to a medical call at RJR Maintenance and Management, owned by Robert and Jackie Fakler, at about 7:30 a.m. Monday. Upon arrival, officers discovered the four bodies inside the building.
“These four people didn’t do it themselves,” Ziegler said, noting it’s quite a large crime scene. “Until we catch whoever did it, we’ll be looking for them. The investigation does not lead us to believe that anyone else is in danger. It looks like an isolated incident.”
Judy Praus of Mandan, who says the Faklers are 35-year family friends, said she talked to the couple at a local steakhouse on Saturday. She has been trying to reach them to find out what happened, but still hasn’t heard back.
“That's what shakes me up; I don't know what's going on,” said Praus, who said her husband once worked for RJR. “It was very closeknit — all of their employees.”
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting with the processing of the crime scene. The Morton County Sheriff's Office also responded. According to Ziegler, investigators remained at RJR, 1106 32nd Ave. S.E., Monday night.
“As long as it takes us to get everything that we need that satisfies what we need from that location, they’ll be there,” he said.
Earlier in the day, a “few” RJR employees were questioned by police and released, according to Ziegler.
Officers also allowed several people behind the police perimeter who appeared distraught and hugged others on scene who were gathered with apparent employees of RJR.
Businesses surrounding RJR are being asked to review their security cameras’ footage and report anything suspicious to the Mandan Police Department.
During a press conference Monday evening, Ziegler expressed his condolences to the victims’ family members.
“It’s very sad that there’s people in this world that would do something … what we had to experience today,” he said. “My hearts go out to the family members of those four victims.
“It’s not something that you would wake up early Monday morning expecting to get a phone call on,” he said. “It’s been a long day. And it’s going to be a long investigation.”
RJR is a commercial and residential property management company that’s been serving Bismarck-Mandan for more than 20 years, according to its website.
The business released a statement at 9:30 a.m. Monday that it would be closed.
The last crime in North Dakota involving four or more victims was likely the murder of the Neugebauer family in 1992.
WDAY News' Matt Henson contributed to this report