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Brandi Jewett and Chris Bieri, Forum Communications, Published August 27 2012

Thief River Falls woman’s death ruled homicide

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – Authorities are investigating the death a Thief River Falls woman whose body was found Sunday near the Red Lake River in rural Pennington County as a homicide.

Tanya Kazmierczak, 40, had been missing since early Saturday morning and was last seen in the Greendale Trailer Court in Thief River Falls around 6 a.m., according to a missing person flier circulated throughout the town.

According to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner identified Kazmierczak’s body Monday after an autopsy that listed the manner of death as homicide.

No arrests have been made in the case, which is under investigation.

A cause was not given by the sheriff’s office, which is investigating the death with the Thief River Falls Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Law enforcement agents and local volunteers had been searching for Kazmierczak since Saturday, before her body was found by an area resident in Smiley Township, which is southeast of Thief River Falls.

Kazmierczak, who lived on the 600 block of East Tonder Street, just celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary earlier this month, according to her Facebook page.

Attempts to reach Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia and Thief River Falls Police Chief Kim Murphy for more information were unsuccessful.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and the county attorney’s office declined to comment on the investigation, saying more information will be available in the coming days.

Anyone with information about the disappearance or death of Tanya Kazmierczak is asked to contact the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office at (218) 681-6161.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Crookston Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting in the investigation.


Brandi Jewett and Chris Bieri write for the Grand Forks Herald