Four people were found dead Monday in a North Dakota property-management business in what police called a “multiple homicide.”
Three men and one woman were found dead at RJR Maintenance and Management in Mandan, a city of about 22,000 just across the Missouri River west of Bismarck, Police Chief Jason Ziegler said at a press conference. The victims weren’t immediately identified and police have not released details about the cause of death.
Authorities do not know if the deceased were employees of the business, Ziegler said. He declined to answer a question about whether the bodies were found together.
No suspects have been identified or taken into custody, Ziegler said. Authorities have contained the crime scene and don’t believe there is threat to public safety. Ziegler said they are not looking into any connected crime scenes.
Authorities responded to a basic medical call Monday at about 7:30 a.m. local time, Ziegler said. Police questioned people who work at the business, but have since released them.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting with the ongoing investigation.
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People with friends or loved ones who work at the business gathered beyond a police line outside the property early Monday.
Judy Praus, 70, said she was a longtime friend of the owner’s family and had just seen them at a restaurant Saturday. She said she also knew a lot of employees, and had no details on any of them.
“When I was notified, I shattered. Unbelievable,” she said.
Gina Kessel, 52, of Mandan, showed up at the business to pick up her son, Mitchell Kessel, an employee there. She said Mitchell “called me, said something is going on.” She said he didn’t tell her what.
The pair hugged, with both of them crying. Her son declined comment before going back behind a police line.
A statement posted on the company’s website said the business was closed Monday. No one answered the phone at the business, which is somewhat isolated despite its location in a business district near a busy main road known as The Strip. A large empty lot sits in the front, a golf course in back and a soccer complex to one side.
Darin Helbling, a manager at a nearby bowling alley, said police asked to see his business’ surveillance video. Helbling said the video showed only a couple of vehicles on the road that separates the businesses since 10 p.m. Sunday.
RJR’s website identified it as a family-owned company that has been handling commercial and residential properties in Bismarck and Mandan for more than 20 years. Its services include collecting rent for landlords, paying mortgages, re-renting apartments, building and grounds maintenance, lawn care, and snow removal. It also rents out storage units.
A “Meet Our Team” feature on the website pictured 22 employees.
Contributing: The Associated Press