A missing North Dakota woman’s body was found in a Minnesota river Sunday evening by kayakers, police said.
Pregnant 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a Native American woman, had been missing since August 19. Her baby was found August 24 with a woman now charged along with a man with kidnapping and murder.
“Recreational kayakers on the Red River found what appeared to be a body-sized object, heavily wrapped in plastic and duct tape, stuck against a tree sticking out in the middle of the river,” Fargo Police Chief David Todd said during a press conference Monday.
Police retrieved the body Sunday night and confirmed the woman’s identity. It was sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office in St. Paul for an autopsy because the body was recovered in Minnesota.
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Preliminary results indicate “homicidal violence,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Suspects William Henry Hoehn, 32, and Brooke Lynn Crews, 38, who lived in the same Fargo apartment building as LaFontaine-Greywind, were arraigned Monday on charges each of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and providing false information to law enforcement, said Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick.
The pair is being held at the Cass County Jail on $2 million bail.
LaFontaine-Greywind was last seen August 19, going to a neighbor’s apartment above the one she lived in with her parents, supposedly to model a dress the neighbor was sewing.
On August 24, police entered the neighbor’s apartment and found a healthy baby girl believed to be LaFontaine-Greywind’s, and arrested Crews, according to news reports.
The cause of death and the manner in which LaFontaine-Greywind gave birth remains unclear.
As police retrieved the body near the 90th Avenue Northwest bridge Sunday night, investigators from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office were searching an abandoned farmstead nearby for suspicious items and possible signs of criminal activity after being alerted by searchers, authorities said.
The case now spans North Dakota and Minnesota but it is too early to tell if it will go to federal court.
“We still have a lot of investigating to do to put the puzzle pieces together in this case,” Chief Todd said as he thanked the officers and the volunteers who conducted extensive searches since LaFontaine-Greywin was reported missing.
“As the chief, I speak on behalf of the men and women of the Fargo Police Department, and I’ll tell you that our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of this young lady,” he said. “As law enforcement, through our investigative efforts we will continue to pursue justice for Savanna. Savanna was a victim of a cruel and vicious act of depravity.”