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Parents of slain NDSU student want polygraph tests for people who were with him last

SARTELL, Minn. - The parents of slain North Dakota State University student Thomas Bearson want the people who were with him shortly before his death to take lie-detector tests.

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SARTELL, Minn. – The parents of slain North Dakota State University student Thomas Bearson want the people who were with him shortly before his death to take lie-detector tests.

The parents' statement Wednesday came a day after Bearson's girlfriend, Erica Traut, wrote on social media that people connected to the unsolved homicide had refused to take polygraph tests requested by police.

"In light of the events of yesterday on social media, The Bearson family encourages those people who were last seen with our beloved son Tom, to cooperate with law enforcement and take the polygraph test," said the parents, Greg and Debbie Bearson of Sartell. "It is hard for us to imagine how anyone claiming to be our son's friend, would not be willing to do everything necessary to exonerate themselves from any involvement in his death by answering some simple questions and allow law enforcement to move forward and focus on other information."

A spokesman for Moorhead police declined on Tuesday to say if polygraph tests were used as part of the investigation of Thomas Bearson's killing last fall.

On social media Tuesday, Traut said one of Thomas Bearson's friends, one of the last people to be seen with him, had been "unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement and unwilling to take a polygraph test."

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Polygraph tests are not admissible in court and their reliability is questionable, according to Fargo defense attorney Bruce Quick.

Greg and Debbie Bearson ended their statement by saying, "It's time for everyone to cooperate with law enforcement to the fullest, and help bring justice to our son, the community of Sartell, and the Bearson family."

Police discovered the body of Tom Bearson, an 18-year-old NDSU freshman, in a recreational vehicle lot in Moorhead on Sept. 23. They determined he died from homicidal violence but haven't specified how he was killed. He was last seen three days earlier at about 3:40 a.m. leaving an off-campus party just south of campus.

Investigators have said they have no suspects or possible motives in the unsolved killing.

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