Human remains found near river identified as missing West Fargo woman – Valley News Live

FARGO, N.D. (KVLY) Fargo Police announced Thursday morning that the human remains found near the river in south Fargo last week are those of 32-year-old Brenda Kartes.

Fargo Police said the remains were found near the river on August 22nd in the 2100 block of 5th St. S in Fargo.

Fargo Police Confirm Identity of Human Remains Found in Fargo

Brendas skeletal remains were found by employees of a nearby cemetery which they say, were in plain view. Police say her death is suspicious in nature and are continuing to investigate. They say they believe there are people who have additional information on her death. They are urging anyone who knows anything in her disappearance or death to contact them.

Kartes was last seen around 1:30 p.m. on July 12, 2018, in the area around 3501 Westrac Drive in Fargo, North Dakota. There were differing accounts that indicate she may have been headed toward Lindenwood Park and/or Texas.

Fargo, N.D.–The Fargo Police Department has revealed the identity of the human remains found along the Red River in Fargo last week.

On the one year-anniversary of Kartes disappearance, her family told Valley News Live that in the days prior to her disappearance, Kartes told them she was scared. Her family said they didnt know what was causing it, but Kartes told them she was very worried and fearful.

She was extremely scared of something. We tried to ask more into it and she wouldnt say anything, Brendas mom, Lynn Kartes said.

Most of the missing children are runaways between 13 and 17, he said in a phone interview. A lot of these children now have, frankly, cellphones or smartphones. Theyre also using social media. … The point being that parents are able to find their children themselves much quicker than they had been, before they have to engage law enforcement.

FARGO — The human remains found in south Fargo near the Red River Aug. 22 are those of missing woman Brenda Kartes, according to city police.

But that doesnt quite explain the sudden drop in 2018. Smartphones and social media have been popular among youth for more than a decade and there seems to be no indication that law enforcement techniques made a sudden advance in 2018.

Deputy Chief Joe Anderson said evidence found at the site of where the remains were discovered in a Fargo cemetery has police treating Kartes' death as suspicious. But he said a medical examiner was not able to determine a manner or cause of death for Kartes.

We believe there is someone or multiple people who have additional information regarding her death or disappearance, Anderson said at a news conference on Thursday, Aug. 29.

The numbers had dropped precipitously from the high of more than 980,000 reported missing in 1997 to less than 628,000 in 2013, but then started to pick up again—until the drop in 2018.

Anderson said the department treats all suspicious deaths as homicides until definitive information becomes available. "We have persons of interest. However, we can't say anything further," he said.

The deputy chief said anyone with information regarding Kartes death or disappearance should call police at 701-241-5777 or text 701-730-8888.

Fargo Deputy Police Chief Joe Anderson talks about the case of Brenda Kartes during a news conference Thursday, Aug. 29, at police headquarters. Kartes went missing last year, and her remains were found Aug. 22 near the Red River in south Fargo. Police believe her death was suspicious. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

We believe there is someone or multiple people who have additional information about her death or disappearance, Deputy Chief Joe Anderson told Inforum.

Workers at Riverside Cemetery discovered Kartes' skeletal remains on Aug. 22, and the remains were sent to the medical examiner, who identified Kartes through dental records, Anderson said.

The reports of missing persons, and missing children in particular, decreased in 2018, reaching levels unseen since the beginning of available FBI data.

He said it's possible the remains had been in the river at some point. He added it was also possible river level fluctuations over the past year may have contributed to the remains being discovered. The case is still under investigation.

Parents Lynn and Dale Kartes said in a message to The Forum that this is not the outcome the family hoped for.

"We're trying to deal with our daughter's death the best we can, which is extremely difficult," the parents said. "We just want to thank everybody all over for the past 13 months for their prayers and sharing her missing person posts. We are just so overwhelmed with grief."

Police said Kartes was last seen leaving Centre Inc., a Fargo drug treatment center, at 1:35 p.m. on July 12, 2018. Kartes parents previously told The Forum she was addicted to methamphetamine and had bipolar disorder.

A missing person report was filed on July 30, 2018, and police sought the public's help in finding her in August 2018. Kartes was 31 years old when she went missing.

Anderson said investigators determined there was no activity on Kartes financial or social media accounts after July 12, 2018.

Kartes' family previously told The Forum they hadn't received any phone calls, texts or emails from Brenda, and that she left behind her belongings, including her vehicle, IDs and money.

Her family said they received information about people claiming they saw Kartes in Bismarck in May 2019, but the tip did not lead anywhere.

Kartes family initially focused their search in Texas, based on Kartes last Facebook post the day before she went missing that mentioned a boyfriend there. But her family told The Forum they didn't think that's what happened.

Kartes' family previously said they feared she might have been a victim of human trafficking because of her vulnerability given her mental illness or that "maybe someone did something to her and she's not with us anymore."

Laura Vraa, Kartes childhood friend, heard the news of Kartes' death on Thursday. I knew in my heart I could feel it, Vraa said.

Chief David Todd said police are going to put forth their full efforts and make sure Kartes family finds justice if foul play was involved.


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