It’s been 3 months since a Minot woman died after what was initially reported as an accidental shooting. But pressure from community members led investigators to dig deeper, leading to an arrest for murder.
Evan Hunt describes his friend Connie Rod as a person who could light up a room.
“Connie was so funny and she was so welcoming, so anyone that had any type of issues or whatever the case may be could talk to Connie,” said Evan Hunt, a friend of Connie Rod.
The 37-year-old was a mother of four and had recently started working at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch doing what she loved, helping others. But that all came to an untimely end.
On May 21st, officers responded to a report of an accidental shooting in Minot. The victim was Connie Rod.
“It was unbelievable when we first heard about what happened,” said Hunt.
He believed there might be more to the story.
“We talked about it and the things that we noticed prior, and it kind of raised a lot of questions at first, that it was an accident and who did it. And it definitely made us raise our eyebrows on what actually happened,” Hunt said.
He says he and other friends noticed a change in her demeanor before her death. So he stuck to his instincts, and posted weekly on social media, pleading for police to investigate further.
“That investigation took a couple of months to put together and get turned over to the state attorney office,” said Chief John Klug.
Chief John Klug says investigators had found enough evidence to lead them to believe that Connie’s husband intentionally shot her. That hard work of investigators and the passion from the community played a big role.
“I think the fact that others had a belief that it wasn’t an accident. Sometimes it’s that outside influence. Like they might know something else about the situation inside that household,” added Klug.
Three months after Connie’s death, her husband Erik Rod was arrested and charged with murder. Hunt says he’s glad police kept digging.
Hunt said, “It’s bittersweet, justice was served, or is being served, but it won’t bring her back.”
Erik Rod is set to appear in court again on November 6th. He has not yet entered a plea in the case.