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In June, the US Marshal’s High Plains Fugitive Task Force expanded to the Bismarck-Mandan area.

That month, Bismarck and Mandan Police Departments and the Burleigh and Morton County Sheriff's Offices became part of that task force. The goal: capturing the most wanted fugitives and bring them to justice.

Bismarck police continue their search for a 7 month old infant girl, who has been missing since last night.

LeahMae Dawn Morsette was last seen in the 300 block of West Arbor Avenue around 1:00 am Sunday morning. She and her mother –27 year old Dawn Morsette – were caught on a security camera. Police arrested the mother about 9 last night, charging her with child neglect and preventing arrest.

Police believe she may have left the child with 31 year old Cole Lee Pfaff. Police don’t know where he is, and are asking for the public’s help to find him.

Bismarck infant missing

Jun 25, 2019
Bismarck Police

A seven-month-old infant is missing in Bismarck.

LeahMae Dawn Morsette was last seen on surveillance video with her mother in the 300 block of west Arbor Avenue at around one am yesterday morning.

Police listed her as missing after her mother – 27-year-old Dawn Morsette – was arrested last night, and could not provide information as to the infant’s whereabouts. Dawn Morsette was arrested for child neglect and preventing arrest.

LeahMae is described as a Native American, believed to be wearing a tan button-up onesie with shorts, or a magenta shirt with pink shorts.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota's crime rate was up slightly in 2017, compared with 2016.

The overall rate was up by just 0.4%.

"North Dakota will continue to be one of the safest states in our country to live and raise a family," said North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. "That's good news."

Stenehjem said one area of concern is the number of drug arrests, which were up by 4.4%. He said the concern is not just about the arrests themselves.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A 49 year old Bismarck man is hospitalized after he was shot by Bismarck police officers.

It happened late Monday night, as officers responded to a 9-1-1 call – where a man claimed he was holding two people hostage at gunpoint. But he hung up – and attempts at calling the person back failed. Police were able to ‘ping’ the cell phone, and that led them to the Clem Kelly Softball Complex, in southwest Bismarck.

Bismarck man shot by police

Aug 9, 2016

A 49 year old Bismarck man is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds after being shot by Bismarck police.

A 42 year old Mandan man was shot and killed by a Bismarck police officer late Sunday night.

Shortly after 11 p-m, police received a report of an intoxicated man with a shotgun threatening to kill the person who called in that report. When police arrived on scene – in the 3200 block of East Thayer Avenue – the officer ordered the man to show his hands and get on the ground. When he refused, he was shot.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

It’s being called a “comprehensive review of North Dakota’s criminal justice system.”

It will involve all three branches of government. And the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center will help with it.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple says the goals are to keep down the cost of incarceration and to reduce recidivism.

"Recidivism is that fun word tha means 'they keep coming back,'" said Dalrymple.

A victim rights group wants to put a Constitutional measure on the November ballot next year.

The measure is dubbed "Marsy's Law" -- named for a California college student who was killed by an ex-boyfriend. The accused made bail, and later confronted the woman's mother and brother.

"Today begins a new conversation for victims of crime," said Kathleen Wrigley, the chair of the group. She says the measure will not reduce the rights of criminal defendants.

Crime rate up 4% in 2014 over 2013

Jul 30, 2015

North Dakota’s crime statistics report for 2014 is a mixed bag.

The overall crime rate is up by about 4 percent, compared with 2013.

The report shows a marked increase in drug arrests. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the number of drug arrests was 4000 in 2014 – up nearly 18 percent from 2013. And Stenhejem says the arrests involve more serious drug activity.