Missing Rancher Body ID'd - Suspect Charged With Murder - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Missing Rancher Body ID'd - Suspect Charged With Murder

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Jack Sjol Jack Sjol
Ryan Stensaker - charged with Class AA Murder Ryan Stensaker - charged with Class AA Murder

The case of a missing Williston-area rancher is now officially a murder investigation.

The state medical examiner confirmed Thursday that a body found Tuesday morning southeast of Williston is that of Jack Sjol.

The 58-year-old Sjol had been missing from his ranch since April 24th about five miles from where his body was discovered.

And officials say Sjol was shot to death.

Investigators believe Ryan Stensaker of Williston killed Sjol - and the 33-year-old Stensaker has been arrested and charged with Class Double-A Murder.

Stensaker is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Stensaker was ordered held on one million dollars bond.  His preliminary hearing was set for June 18th.

Court records indicate he has served at least two prison sentences in the past ten years.

Sjol disappeared from his home about 5 miles northeast of Williston more than three weeks ago and officials said there was evidence of a crime at the house.

His family and friends had been asking for people's help in finding him ever since.

Sjol was living by himself at his ranch and is survived by his two grown children who live in Minnesota.

His sister-in-law Diane Sjol says the news that Jack was murdered is a shock to the family.

Still, she says there is some comfort in finally knowing what happened.

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