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Chris Bieri, Forum Communications Co., Published June 11 2012

VIDEO: Body found on Grand Forks sidewalk

GRAND FORKS – Police here are still investigating the death of an 18-year-old Grand Forks man found Monday morning on the sidewalk in front of a residence at 415 N. 51st St.

Police said the man, identified as Christian Allen Bjerk, was face down in front of an REM North Dakota group home on the west side of 51st Street when they arrived at 5:46 a.m.

A preliminary autopsy was completed Monday and showed no signs of traumatic injury, but police said a complete autopsy will likely take weeks to complete.

Two witnesses, who arrived on the scene just before 6 a.m., said Bjerk’s body was barefoot, with two socks lying nearby.

The witnesses, who did not want to be identified, said a number of potted plants that normally sat in front of the house had been overturned and were spread across the lawn.

Lt. Jim Remer said Bjerk had marks on his face, but there was no blood on the body or at the scene.

Police said they found two men in the area who they believe were involved in the incident, but neither is currently being implicated in the death.

Lt. Jim Remer said one of the men was taken to the hospital and another was arrested on an outstanding Grand Forks County warrant.

Both men were found within a couple of blocks from Bjerk’s body, one in a park and the other on the lawn of another residence.

Remer reiterated that the men are not suspects, but police want to interview them.

The witnesses reported that when they arrived, police had a man detained in the back of a patrol car who was yelling and screaming.

Remer would not release the identities or ages of the two men.

He said there also was a teenager who may face charges in juvenile court not associated with the death.

Remer said drugs are part of the investigation, but he would not elaborate.

Police believe Bjerk died where he was found by police and that the body was not moved.

He also said some of the investigation took place at a residence at 497 N. 51st Street, two houses away from where Bjerk was found. Police were seen going in and out of the residence Monday morning.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police at (701) 787-8000.

The police department was assisted on the investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force, and the UND Police Department.


Chris Bieri writes for the Grand Forks Herald