One more piece remains in New Town murder investigation

NEW TOWN The quadruple murder that rocked New Town nearly eight months ago has lacked any sense of closure for the remaining family, the town, or the state. The Federal Bureau of Investigation Minneapolis field office, which covers Minnesota and the Dakotas and is leading the investigation, has now disclosed that only one more piece of evidence remains before the case can be closed.

“It has been some time, but we are still waiting for the final ballistic results,” said Kyle Loven, a spokesperson for the FBI office. “And, once that has been resolved … we will consider the investigation to be concluded at that time.”

The ballistics investigation is being performed at the FBI Crime Lab in Quantico, Va.

The amount of time those tests will take is unknown, and Loven, who was an investigating special agent for the first decade of his FBI career, said the timeline “varies in length.” When it is concluded, however, an official memorandum will be released and that will be a “comprehensive report.”

“The FBI realizes that this was a traumatic event, not just for the people of New Town, but also for the entire state of North Dakota. That was not lost on our organization,” Loven said. “We intend to give answers.”

On Nov. 18, 2012, Martha Johnson and three of her young grandchildren, ranging in age from six to 13 years old, were slain with a hunting rifle in Johnson’s home in north New Town.

Within hours of the murders, Kalcie Eagle, 21, New Town, committed suicide by gunshot in front of officers about 20-minutes east in Parshall, which, like New Town, is on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Within days of the murder, he was labeled a “person of interest” in the murders.

That revelation was the last people have heard of the ongoing investigation.

The ongoing questions unanswered, though, deal with policy concerns.

The FBI has a policy of not discussing ongoing investigations with the media because it may interfere with a future trial. Even in special cases like this one, where no trial is expected, Loven said the policies remain in place.

There is a list of nine news media organizations in the state who have made persistent inquiries into the investigation, including The Minot Daily News. The memorandum will be released simultaneously to all of them.

“The questions that the people of North Dakota have had for the last (eight) months will be answered,” Loven said. “You’ve got media in North Dakota who are doing their jobs … Unfortunately this is a situation where I am unable to provide information until the time is right.”