Young Native man disappears at Grand Forks, ND [site of earlier recent killings of Indian men]

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at
Tue Aug 6 15:06:35 MDT 2002

Note by Hunterbear:

This is a news story [August 6] from the Great Falls, Montana newspaper
which discusses the strange, quite recent disappearance of a young Turtle
Mountain Chippewa man -- Russell Turcotte [19] -- in and around Grand Forks
N.D.  Grand Forks, of course, is the setting where, now almost a year ago,
three Turtle Mountain Chippewa men were murdered.  No arrests have been made
in those cases, the North Dakota Governor's office simply replies to queries
by indicating the investigation is multi-state and multi-jurisdictional, and
the Mayor of Grand Forks does not respond at all to queries on the murders.
Although the Indian Grapevine has been increasingly aware for awhile now of
this young man's disappearance, Grand Forks news media have remained silent
on the situation.

We have posted frequently and in detail on the murders of the three Native
men and the sorry situation in and around Grand Forks with which we are
personally quite familiar.  We will have much more on all of this very soon
indeed.  For info on the three killings and the failure of law enforcement
to arrest anyone, see this link on our large website

Grand Forks is an always-problematic town in eastern North Dakota where race
relations -- and community relations generally -- have been deteriorating
rapidly since the great flood of April and May, 1997.  This young Native
man, although a resident of Havre, Montana, is, as we've indicated, a member
of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe -- whose reservation is in
northeast/central North Dakota.  At this point, of course, any conclusions
are speculative -- hopefully he'll turn up safe and sound --  but the
passage of what's now three weeks with no word whatsoever of Russell
Turcotte -- who even failed to pick up money wired to him at Grand Forks by
his Montana-based mother -- has now made broad publicity imperative.

Hunter Gray  [Hunterbear] (strawberry socialism)
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´

Havre teen fails to show for wedding; friends, family grow more concerned

By KAREN IVANOVA Tribune Regional Editor

WOLF POINT -- Concern is deepening for a young Havre man who went missing
more than three weeks ago on his way home from a hippie gathering in

Nineteen-year-old Russell Turcotte hitchhiked -- his first time, according
to his family -- to Grand Forks, N.D., from Brainerd, Minn. on his way home
from a Rainbow Gathering, an annual commune of thousands of free spirits.

But for some reason, Turcotte tired of the road. He called his mom from a
Grand Forks mini-mart July 12 to ask for $75 for a train ticket home. Linda
Flynn, of Wolf Point, wired her son $100 the next morning, but he never
claimed it.

His family grew concerned within days. It isn't like the "happy-go-lucky"
kid to not call home, says his brother, Buck.

Their hearts sank further when he failed to show for a wedding in Kalispell
Sunday, where he was to be the best man.

"He promised for all his life that he'd be up here for my wedding," said
Mike Dunning, who became fast friends with Turcotte in the second grade in
Havre. "He's my best friend."

A surveillance tape from the Grand Forks mini-mart, where Turcotte bought a
bottle of water, confirmed to police that he was in town the night he called
his mother.

But Grand Forks police haven't turned up any other useful clues, said Sgt.
Kevin Kallinen.

Nor has the Wolf Point Police Department, the lead agency in the case, made
any leeway. A woman called Great Falls police July 25 after she saw a man
fitting Turcotte's description walking down 10th Avenue South, but the tip
didn't pan out, said Lt. Jeff Harada, with the Wolf Point Police Department.
The investigation is ongoing, Harada said.

Turcotte's father William, a carpenter who lives in Havre, and his
24-year-old brother, Buck, have plastered the highways from Havre to Grand
Forks and Fargo with missing person signs to no avail. They've stopped at
every rescue mission, skate board park and bead or hemp shop along the
way -- anywhere the free-spirited teen might hang out.

The owner of a Spokane trucking company, who is a friend of Turcotte's aunt
in Houston, even distributed flyers to his drivers.

Wednesday Turcotte's family is headed to Hays on the Fort Belknap
Reservation, where a medicine man will search the spiritual world for clues.

Flynn is a member of the Fort Peck Tribes. Turcotte and his father are
members of the Turtle Mountain Tribe in North Dakota.

Flynn hopes for spiritual guidance on where to look next.

"Some days I'm OK and other days I simply can't function," she said. "I'm
just numb."

Flynn's co-workers at the Fort Peck Community College have donated money for
the search efforts and friends of family have given them phone cards. A
family in Brainerd, Minn. offered Turcotte's family their home should they
decide to search there.

Turcotte spent the night at the home of a young Brainerd woman who he met at
the Rainbow Gathering, according to his mother. She and a friend dropped him
off at a freeway entrance in Brainerd. He told them he was heading to
Highway 2 and that he planned to return home for Denning's wedding.

"The people that have come forward to help have been so heartwarming," Flynn
said. "It's nice to know that there are so many people out there that care.
It's helped our family tremendously. It's helped us stick together and not
be in total hysterics and kind of kept us going."

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