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Update: Police say 7 dead in incident at south Moorhead home, including 4 adults and 3 children

Moorhead police say 4 adults, 3 children died at home south of S.G. Reinertsen Elementary School

Media and law enforcement on the scene Sunday morning  after the death of 7 people at a home on the 4400 block of 13th Street south in Moorhead.
Media and law enforcement on the scene Sunday morning after the death of 7 people at a home on the 4400 block of 13th Street south in Moorhead Saturday night.
Tracy Briggs
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MOORHEAD - Police say seven people are now confirmed dead in an incident at a home on the intersection of 13th Street and 44th Avenue, just south of S.G. Reinertsen Elementary School.

Captain Deric Swenson of the Moorhead Police Department said the investigation continues into the unattended deaths first reported to police at 7:41 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18.

All of the victims have been transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office, where autopsies are still active to determine a cause of death.

The victims include four adults and three children. The Moorhead Area School District was provided information regarding the victims to help prepare for student assistance regarding the deaths.

At 5:30 the district sent this announcement to parents:


It is with great sadness that the district informs you that we were recently notified of the death of three MAPS students on Saturday night. The students attended S.G. Reinertsen Elementary and Moorhead High School. It is a difficult time for our Moorhead Area Public Schools family.

As a district, our goal is to support students and staff through this difficult time. There are many factors associated with a sudden loss like this and each individual has their own way of processing feelings and emotions. We are putting together the details to have a grief team and counselors available for students and staff support at Moorhead High and SGR throughout the week.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the students’ family. Thank you for supporting your children and their friends as well as our staff through this tremendous loss.

The investigation is still active, and further information, including the cause of death and identification of the victims, will be released at a later time. The investigation supports that there is no known threat to the public. Earlier, a spokesperson for the police department said it did not appear any death was caused by violence.

According to dispatch reports, Moorhead Fire responded to a call for a carbon monoxide detector check at 12:56 Sunday morning, hours after the bodies were discovered by friends worried that they hadn't seen the family.

The neighborhood was quiet today except for media and law enforcement officials still on the scene.

One neighbor, who wished not to be identified said this morning he was 'shocked' over what happened.

"It was pretty chaotic last night with all the lights and people," he said.


Another neighbor, Drisauna Dzemailji, who lives right across the street from the home, said she was home last night when the police showed up.

"It was crazy," she said, "I didn't know the family, but it's sad."

At least three law enforcement vehicles from the Moorhead Police Department and the Clay County Sheriff's office were parked in the neighborhood today.

south moorhead family death
A Clay County Sheriff's deputy unlocks the a door to the Emergency Management trailer at the scene of the death of several people in a home on the block of 13th Street and 44th Avenue South in Moorhead.
Tracy Briggs

"It's very quiet tonight," said neighbor Mel Kachuol Saturday night, referring to the grief in the neighborhood. His kids saw the family Friday afternoon.

Neighbors say the family has lived in the neighborhood for years and described them as quiet and friendly, and the kids played outside a lot.

"It's just really heartbreaking how before Christmas some of the family members died, and now a little bit of their family can't spend Christmas with their family," said Josiah Kachuol.

"In your mind it's never going to go away. You are going to drive by, and they aren't going to be outside anymore," said Mel Kachuol.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office assisted with the incident and calls for service within the City of Moorhead while officers were busy on the scene. The Moorhead Fire Department also assisted.

Related Topics: MOORHEAD
Tracy Briggs is a News, Lifestyle and History reporter with Forum Communications with more than 30 years of experience.
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