One North Dakota farmer was found dead, shot to death in his wheat field in what local authorities suspect was a murder-suicide. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered three additional bodies in the same field, all victims of gunshot wounds. The police have only identified one of the victims, who was the owner of the land where he and the others were found dead. A county coroner is expected to release more information later today after he has conducted autopsies on all four victims to determine their exact cause of death and whether they died before or after being shot.
Four persons who were discovered shot to death in a wheat field this week in North Dakota were identified by authorities on Wednesday.
They were named in a statement by Towner County Sheriff Andrew Hillier as Douglas Dulmage, 56; Justin Bracken, 34; Richard Bracken, 64; and Robert Bracken, 59.
A pistol discovered at the location, roughly 200 miles northeast of Bismarck, was a .357 revolver, Hillier said.
Hillier didn’t offer any further details about the event or speculate on a potential motivation. He said in a statement on Tuesday that the scene’s evidence pointed to the occurrence being a murder-suicide.
According to Fargo’s NBC station KVLY, Dulmage had hired the three guys to work on his farm and was slain while mixing wheat. According to Forum News Service of Fargo-Moorhead, one of the farmhands’ relatives went to check on him about 6 p.m. on Monday and found the dead.
Pat Traynor, a longtime friend of Dulmage’s, told KVLY that his death was a “devastating loss.”
Traynor reportedly told the station, “He was a cornerstone of the community.” Doug Dulmage was well-liked by everybody.
Dulmage grew wheat, corn, and soybeans with his 95-year-old father at the land where he was slain, according to Traynor, who also spoke to the Associated Press. Dulmage resided in Leeds, some 14 miles away, with his wife and daughter.
According to family members quoted by KVLY, one of the men killed Dulmage, his brother, and his kid during an argument before taking his own life. Justin Bracken is listed as Robert Bracken’s son in public records.
The ex-wife of Robert Bracken, who could only be reached via phone, said that her ex-husband “didn’t have a cruel bone in his body.”
She added that she will wait for a police report on the event before making any more comments, saying, “We need time to understand this.”
A message sent at a number indicated as belonging to a relative of Richard Bracken didn’t receive a prompt response.