Mandan police identified the bodies discovered Monday in a multiple homicide as the owner and three employees of RJR Maintenance and Management.
The victims are business owner Robert Fakler, 52, and employees Adam Fuehrer, 42, Lois Cobb, 45, and William Cobb, 50.
Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler released the names in a press conference midday Tuesday but provided few additional details as officers pursue the investigation.
Police did not have a suspect in custody and had not identified suspects at the time of the news conference. Ziegler reiterated that police do not believe the public is in danger.
“This was very specific to the victims that were involved,” Ziegler said. “There is nothing that was at the crime scene that would lead us to believe anybody outside the victims involved are in any danger.”
Police responded to a call for a medical assist at 7:30 a.m. Monday to the property management business at 1106 32nd Ave. S.E. and discovered an incident authorities describe as a "multiple homicide."
Ziegler declined to answer questions about how they died. Autopsies are being conducted by the State Medical Examiner’s Office. Authorities had not recovered a weapon, Ziegler said.
Police also have not released information about the time frame of the incident.
“It’s very unusual for the state of North Dakota. I don’t think any community across this great country could ever imagine something like this happening in their backyard,” Ziegler said. “It’s extremely hard and difficult for everybody.”
Briann Miller told The Associated Press that her mother, Lois Cobb, worked for RJR as an account specialist and her stepfather, William Cobb, worked as a maintenance supervisor.
Miller said authorities gave her no details on how they died.
"I just know that it was an attack," Miller said. "I don't know how it happened, what it happened with. I'm left in the dark still. None of this makes any sense. All I know is my parents are gone."
Miller, of Girard, Ill., said the Cobbs had moved from Illinois to North Dakota about six years ago and had just bought their dream home. She said they never gave any indication to her of any problems at work.
Fakler owned RJR Maintenance and Management with his wife, Jackie. The company website describes it as a family-owned company that has managed commercial and residential properties in Mandan and Bismarck for more than 20 years.
David and Tammy Boone, of Baldwin, lived about half a mile from Robert and Jackie Fakler. Both men owned cattle and ran them together on pasture they shared.
“He was the kind of friend and neighbor you want,” David Boone said.
Ann Farrell, of Bismarck, fought backs tears as she talked about a conversation she had with Fakler the night before he was found dead. She told The Associated Press he was "very cheerful, very much in a good mood."
Fuehrer worked for RJR for about eight years, his sister, Natascha Towne, told The Associated Press.
Ziegler said the multiple homicide has been “devastating” to the community and expressed his condolences to the victims’ families.
“When a community goes through something like this, it’s really something that you can’t really imagine. Now comes trying to piece those questions together,” Ziegler said. “A lot of the questions you guys are asking, we just don’t have answers right now. We’ve got to be able to do our investigation and put these puzzles together.”
Police are asking members of the public to contact police at 701-667-3250 or use the tip line at mandanpd.com if they have video surveillance from the area or saw anything suspicious. Mandan police and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation have completed the investigation at the crime scene and sent evidence for processing and analysis.
Ziegler said Mandan police will work closely with the BCI on the investigation. The department also has received offers of resources from other local and federal law enforcement agencies, Ziegler said.
Investigators are following up on leads and plan to reinterview more than 30 people, Ziegler said.
“A lot of people will be interviewed in reference to this incident,” he said.
RJR has been closed since the incident but planned to reopen at 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to the company’s Facebook page.
- Bismarck Tribune reporter Travis Svihovec contributed to this report.