Community reacts with confusion and fear after human remains found on Spirit Lake Reservation

Published: Jun. 11, 2019 at 11:55 PM CDT
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There are confusion and fear on the Spirit Lake Reservation. It follows the discovery of human remains on the reservation a few days ago.

The person was identified as 39-year-old Joseph Bruce of Grand Forks who was missing since last year. He was last seen on June 25, 2018.

On Sunday, human remains were found in a secluded area in between sloughs on the Spirit Lake Reservation.

"Well, there have been things that have happened in this lake region, and mainly things that have happened south of Devils Lake that we're not always privy to," said Nathan Fritz from Devils Lake.

"Yeah, that is a little strange," said Kurt Sargent. "Wow um I'm not really sure what to say about it..."

Nearly one year ago, family members told Valley News Live they thought Bruce was murdered. They say they were told Bruce likely ran away.

The locals we spoke with said they can't imagine what Bruce's family is going through.

"I have a daughter and obviously missing her for a year would be a big concern of whether... was she taken or something tragic happened," said Sargent. "Would be tough to live with for a long time."

"It would be wonderful if someone could come forward and say, "Hey, I know some information and would tell the police," said Fritz.

Fritz said he's concerned about loved ones like his son.

"Certainly we're concerned about people like this, the ones that we especially love because we don't want them to be abducted, we don't want them to be taken advantage of, we don't want terrible things to happen to them," said Fritz.

Fritz said it's essential as parents to make sure children tell them when and where they plan to be so that when they get older, they're able to make smart decisions on their own.

This investigation is being led by the FBI, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Devils Lake police.

If you have any information on this case you're urged to call the Devils Lake Police Department at 701-662-0700.

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