A Grand Forks man who has been missing for more than a week was found dead Monday alongside a rural Polk County road, police said.
Fernando Balboa was last seen at his Grand Forks home on July 6. His family called police when the 55-year-old father of five went missing because they worried he could run out of lifesaving medication. His sister, Teresa Rodriguez, previously told reporters he had liver problems and was recently diagnosed with cancer. She said he became confused when he hadn’t taken his medication.
Lt. Brett Johnson said officers believe Balboa left on his own with some of his medication, though it’s unknown why he took off.
Grand Forks police posted to Facebook the day after Balboa went missing to ask for the public’s help in finding him. Johnson said police received numerous leads, but none panned out. Balboa’s body was found 6:15 p.m. Monday just outside East Grand Forks, according to investigator Justin Swang of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. A passerby spotted the body alongside 160th Street Southwest about a half mile west of 390th Avenue Southwest in Sullivan Township, Swang said.
Foul play is not believed to be involved in Balboa’s death, but Johnson said there likely won’t be an official cause of death until a complete autopsy report is finalized in four to six weeks.
The Grand Forks Police Department and Polk County Sheriff’s Office are leading the investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call (701) 787-8000, submit a tip to the Grand Forks police Facebook or website or Tip411 smartphone app.
Balboa's family has created a GoFundMe account to pay for his funeral expenses.