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Missing 74-year-old Bismarck man's body found

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Steve Mayer, a K-9 trooper with the North Dakota Highway Patrol, monitors the agency's search dog along the Heart River west of Mandan last month in another effort by the Morton County Sheriff's Department to locate Lynn Fairfield, a Bismarck man who has been missing after his capsized boat was discovered. 

The body of 74-year-old Lynn Fairfield, who went missing April 9, was found Wednesday morning along the Heart River west of Mandan by a Morton County Sheriff’s Department deputy.

While doing a check of the shoreline at about 10 a.m., the deputy discovered the missing Bismarck man’s body about a mile downstream from where his boat had capsized on the river nearly a month ago.

The deputy was on the north side of the river when he spotted the color gray, which matched the description of the coat Fairfield was wearing when he went missing, on the south side of the river, according to Morton County spokeswoman Maxine Herr.

“He really had quite the eagle eye,” she said, noting the deputy was not accompanied by a K9 when the man’s body was discovered.

On April 9, Fairfield’s wife called 911 to report that her husband had left their home that morning to check some hunting locations, and that he was gone all day and not answering her phone calls. The man’s boat was found capsized later that evening and caught in an ice jam.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has regularly searched the area, with deputies walking shorelines and using drones to scan from the air. According to Herr, a deputy last searched the area Tuesday, one day before Fairfield’s body was discovered.

Since April 9, the sheriff’s department also has utilized N.D. Highway Patrol aircraft, underwater equipment and manpower from the Burleigh County Swift Water Rescue Team, the volunteer Morton County Dive Team, a NDHP bloodhound and Morton County K9s to search the area. Local residents also participated in the efforts.

The Mandan Rural Fire Department assisted with the recovery of Fairfield’s body from the river Wednesday.

(Reach Cheryl McCormack at 701-250-8264 or cheryl.mccormack@bismarcktribune.com.)​

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