Family makes emotional plea for leads in Brenda Kartes’ death

FARGO — Police here are asking for the public’s help in their investigation of the death of a Fargo woman whose body was found last summer after she had gone missing more than a year before.

In a video posted to the Fargo Police Department’s Facebook page Wednesday, Jan. 8, Detective Mike Lovejoy and Brenda Kartes’ family pleaded for help in the case.

“Someone’s got to know something out there, and please, if you know anything please just come forward,” Brenda's mother, Lynn Kartes, says in the video, fighting through tears. “Our family needs it. Brenda deserves it.”

Kartes, 32, who suffered from addiction and bipolar disorder, was undergoing mandatory treatment at Centre Inc. in Fargo when she went missing in July 2018 after signing out of the facility to go on a walk.


In August 2019, her remains were found close to the Riverside Cemetery near the Red River in Fargo. Police consider her death suspicious.

Lovejoy said investigators learned that a person had entered a “local establishment” last summer and told employees about specific details about the moments that led to Kartes’ death. The employees did not know the person, the detective said, adding that there is no recording of what happened.

Police did not provide any details on what the establishment was or any other details about the person.

According to Lovejoy, city police have interviewed more than 70 people in the investigation and have followed leads in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Texas, Colorado and California.

Brenda Kartes
Brenda Kartes. Submitted photo

Fargo police, as well as state and federal agencies, are involved in the investigation and evidence is being analyzed by the FBI’s crime lab.

Anyone with information is asked to reach out to Detective Lovejoy at 701-476-4176 or Fargo police at 701-241-5777. Tips can be texted to 701-730-8888.

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