Authorities find a dead man in a vehicle along I-94 Friday, now the driver is charged with murder, unrelated to any accident.
It's a bizarre story that authorities are still trying to piece together.
It all started when troopers responded to a crash east of Bismarck on I-94 Friday.
That's where they found the driver, John Bridges.
And a dead body in the van.
It was suspicious from the beginning, authorities could tell Lee Clay's fatal injuries were unrelated to the crash.
Very few details are being released in the case. John Bridges is charged with kidnapping for abducting Lee Clay and with murder for causing Clay's death.
In the beginning of Bridge's initial appearance this afternoon, he told Judge Sonna Anderson he wanted to plead guilty and get this over with. Judge Anderson explained to Bridges that because the charges are felonies she can't accept a plea unless he has an attorney. She did set no bond for Bridges at Assistant Burleigh County State's Attorney, Lloyd Suhr's request.
"No contacts with the community. Information obtained during the investigation showed he had only been in the community since July 2nd. There's also overwhelming evidence the homicide was premeditated based upon the purchase of various instruments used in the homicide."
Suhr says a knife and hatchet were found in the vehicle with Clay's body. Suhr also says Bridges has a violent criminal history.
"Which includes arrests and convictions for aggravated battery, including causing great bodily harm. We are in the process of making contact with officials in Illinois but it is my understanding he has a juvenile conviction for homicide."
After the hearing, a friend of the victim told KX News that Lee Clay had recently moved from Georgia to Bismarck to look for work.
An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.