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Minot Police close case of girl missing 15 years

Minot’s police chief says the case on the girl known as “Peanut” is closed.
Minot’s police chief says the case on the girl known as “Peanut” is closed.(KMOT File / 2006)
Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 7:34 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -

Fifteen years after 3-year-old Reachelle Smith disappeared, Minot’s police chief says the case on the girl known as “Peanut” is closed and the only suspect in her disappearance killed herself.

Chief John Klug said at a news conference Tuesday that police believe “without a doubt” that Leigh Cowen killed Reachelle.

Cowen killed himself a week after she was last seen.

Police say a “substantial amount” of Reachelle’s blood was found in a cooler at Cowen’s home.

Police say they still don’t know a motive.

The child’s body was never recovered.

Klug says police were hoping her remains would be found.

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