Detectives from the Bemidji Police Department were recognized this week for their work on a murder, arson, kidnapping and assault case involving a 5 year old girl. They received the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) 2017 Heroes’ Award. The Heroes’ Award was given for, “The extraordinary teamwork and fast thinking of the Bemidji Police Department, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal which resulted in the rescue of a 5-year-old girl from unimaginable horror. After responding to a house fire in Bemidji, Minnesota, investigators discovered an adult murder victim inside. It was soon discovered that a child in the victim’s care was missing from the burned-out home. The investigation pointed to an associate of the victim, a registered sex offender. An extensive search led investigators to a remote property where they located the missing child in a camper where she had been held for days without food or water, her legs and torso bound in duct tape. The suspect was arrested near the property and sentenced to 52 years in prison.”
The Bemidji Police Department was also honored at the Minnesota Sex Crimes Investigators Association with the 2017 Agency of the Year Award. Bemidji Police Department Detectives were honored along with MN BCA agents and the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office for investigative efforts on this case. This award was presented for the “tenacious investigation resulting in the rescue of a juvenile female and the conviction of the offender for kidnapping, homicide, and criminal sexual conduct and a 52 year prison sentence”.