Police: Body of man found near Pembina after trying to cross the border illegally

The Pembina County Sheriffs Department says it appears the body has been there for months.

Grand Forks Herald file photo

PEMBINA - The Pembina County Sheriff's Department said it appears an illegal trip across the border has turned deadly.

A farmer plowing a field west of Pembina discovered a body in a drainage ditch on Thursday. It was about 20 feet from the border and had decomposed.

The sheriff believes the body had been there for months. The death appears to be accidental.

Investigators found identifying paperwork in a nearby backpack, but are working to positively identify the man who police say was unrecognizable.

They say the paperwork suggests the man was his 30s and was from Ghana, and had been traveling across the U.S and was likely heading toward Canada.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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