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North Dakota pursuit suspect found dead days later

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the cause of death.

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ELDRIDGE, N.D. – A 36-year-old man who was involved in a pursuit and fled on foot from law enforcement southwest of here on April 24 was found dead Friday, April 29, after an acquaintance reported him missing, according to Chief Deputy Jason Falk, detective with the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office.

Jesse Leppert was found in the area of the pursuit on Friday, Falk said. The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the cause of death.

Stutsman County Sheriff's Office said Leppert didn't have a permanent address but stayed with people in the Jamestown area.

Falk said a deputy with the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office attempted to make a stop for a traffic violation at about 11:40 p.m. on April 24 in Eldridge and Leppert, who was with a female passenger, fled. A pursuit went about 5 miles and the vehicle ended up in a farm yard southwest of Eldridge.

Falk said Leppert fled on foot into the trees and field area surrounding the farm. He said Sheriff’s Office deputies and the North Dakota Highway Patrol searched the trees and the area and could not locate Leppert.

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Leppert was not found after the pursuit, Falk said. He said the female passenger reported Leppert missing on April 29, and a search was conducted by the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff's Office found Leppert in the area where the pursuit occurred.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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