Police probe suspicious death in Belcourt area

BISMARCK (AP) – Federal and local authorities are investigating what they are calling a suspicious death on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. FBI spokesman Kyle Loven says that agency, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and local police are trying to piece together what happened, and are not immediately releasing details or saying whether suspects are being sought.

The Belcourt Police Department referred calls to Chief Lenora Nioce (nee-OH’-chee), who was out of the office Wednesday morning.

KEYA Radio Program Manager Jarle Kvale (kuh-WAWL’-ee) said schools and some workplaces including the hospital in Belcourt closed on Wednesday because of the incident.

The two schools in the city of Rugby about 50 miles away were put on lockdown status. Superintendent Mike McNeff said it was a precautionary measure and he has no reason to believe that there is a threat to the school.

McNeff said the school in Wolford was also on lockdown status. Most Rolette County schools closed early, he said.

The Rolette school was also on lockdown status on Wednesday morning, according to a spokeswoman. She said some parents were picking up their children early from school. The school is remaining open as a safe place for kids whose parents can’t collect them early, she said.