Bismarck homicide suspect found dead in park

LITTLE MISSOURI STATE PARK — The suspect in a Bismarck homicide was found dead by apparent suicide in the Little Missouri State Park north of Killdeer early Monday morning.

Dunn County Sheriff Clay Coker said the body of Kirk Kwasniewski, 35, was found in an open-air pavilion about 50 yards from where his vehicle had been located earlier by a deputy following a 911 hangup.

At 1:09 a.m. Monday, a Bismarck woman living on the 600 block of North 22nd Street, called police to report Kwasniewski was in her home threatening her with a gun. She found her boyfriend, 30-year-old Caine Fischer, of Bismarck, dead in the home. She told police Kwasniewski had fled.

At around 3 a.m., Dunn County Sheriff Clay Coker said one of his deputies responded to a 911 hangup that pinged to the park.

The deputy found Kwasniewski’s still-warm vehicle at 3:44 a.m. parked and unoccupied at one of the entrances to the park, according to a statement released by Coker. But because of the dark and dense fog, authorities could not search the area.

“We had visibility of less than 10 feet,” Coker said. “What we did was we backed off and started calling extra resources in.”

At first light, the Southwest Tactical Team began searching the area. Kwasniewski’s body was found at 7:15 a.m., the release stated. Dunn County investigators recovered a weapon from Kwasniewski’s vehicle, according to the release.

His body has been taken to the State Medical Examiner’s’ Laboratory in Bismarck, Coker said. Bismarck police issued a statement early Monday morning stating Kwasniewski was possibly armed and dangerous.

The Press received reports of oilfield work being stalled because of the search process, and one man sent a social media message, saying he encountered a closed road where he witnessed law enforcement “with weapons drawn all over” and was told to turn around.

The Dunn and McKenzie County sheriff’s offices, the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the Killdeer Police Department assisted in searching for Kwasniewski in the state park, Coker said. The Killdeer Area Ambulance and Dunn County Emergency management personnel assisted.

The Bismarck Tribune and Forum News Service contributed to this report.

Author: Dustin Monke

Former newspaper editor. Now I market the best baked goods and donuts in America. But every once in a while, I write a cool story too.

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