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Stephen J. Lee, Forum Communications, Published August 02 2012

Deputy US marshal found dead in Grand Forks identified; no foul play suspected

GRAND FORKS - A deputy U.S. marshal from Grand Forks was found dead in his government vehicle shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday here in a parking lot just east of Belmont Road off Lincoln Drive.

Grand Forks Police Chief John Packett said at a news conference this morning that two witnesses called 911 and directed police to where the body of Robert Wood, 46, was in his vehicle.

An autopsy is being conducted today on Wood’s body and Packett and North Dakota District’s U.S. Marshal Paul Ward said little would be said about the cause of Wood’s death. Results of the autopsy may not be released for four to six weeks, Packett said.

No foul play is suspected, Ward told the Forum Communications Tuesday night. No other individuals are being looked at, and there is no public safety concern, Packett said.

Wood served in the U.S. Air Force from 1986-1990, when he joined the Department of Justice’s Marshal Service, assigned first to the office in Washington, D.C. He was transferred to Grand Forks in 1994, where he has worked since, in the transport of federal prisoners, investigation of unregistered sex offenders and capturing federal fugitives, said Deputy U.S. Marshal Dan Orr.

“I’ve known Bob for over 20 years and he’s excellent employee and a good friend,” Orr said.

Wood lived in Grand Forks with his wife and their three sons, Ward said.