Since publishing this story on March 9, some missing persons have been found. After this discovery, we updated the story to include a “found” section, to compile all the missing people discovered after their disappearances. The story has been updated to reflect this.

Three children and 24 adults — that’s how many people are missing across North Dakota.

In late 2021, a special session approved $300,000 for then-Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s office to implement a statewide missing person database. The funds came from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Stenehjem said the new system will enable all law enforcement, including tribal, to upload information into a shared system and give the public access so they can assist in searches. He expected the database to take six to eight months to roll out.

Attorney General Drew Wrigley’s office says the project is now in development.

But in the meantime, their names and faces shouldn’t be forgotten.

KX News combed through these missing person reports in an attempt to again share their information and help bring them home to their families.

Children

Barbara Cotton

Barbara went missing at 16 years old, on April 11, 1981, in Williston. She was last seen leaving a local restaurant and didn’t take any belongings with her. She’s now 56.

Her left ear is lower than her right and she has a dark brown mole on the upper right side of her chest. She has brown hair and eyes.

Jeanna Dale North

Jeanna went missing when she was 11 years old. She’s now 40. She was last seen on June 28, 1993, in Fargo.

She has brown hair and blue eyes. Both of her ears are pierced and her teeth are in poor health (she had a surgery with repair and rebuild). Jeanna was wearing black rollerblades with neon green wheels the last time she was seen.

John (and Sandra) Jacobson

John was last seen with his mother, Sandra, on Nov. 16, 1996, in Bismarck leaving a relative’s home. He was 5 years old at the time. The car was found abandoned, but John and Sandra are still missing.

He was last seen wearing a hunter-green coat with blue cuffs. He was brown hair and eyes.

Sandra was driving a gray 1990 Honda Civic that was found abandoned at the Centennial Beach parking, adjacent to the Missouri River. Sandra has a medical condition. She was 36 at the time.

She has brown hair and green eyes and wears glasses.

Adults

Donna Jean Michalenko

Donna has been missing for 54 years. She was last seen in Washburn. The last time she had contact with family was Nov. 9, 1968. She has black hair and brown eyes.

Joe Christopher Lee

Joe went missing at 44 years old from Williston. The last time he had contact with anyone was June 1, 2013. Joe borrowed a vehicle from a friend that day and was going to return it that evening. The friend reported Joe and his truck missing the next day.

His truck was found on farmland near Epping/Springbrook Dam. His boots and socks were found 200 yards from the truck next to the creek. A rescue dive team searched the creek with a sonar robot and cadaver dogs and nothing was ever found.

He has black hair, hazel eyes and a tattoo on his back and left shoulder.

Charles Edward Tear

Charles has been missing for nearly 11 years. He was last seen in Fargo on June 29, 2011, and may now be homeless. His hair is gray or partially gray and he has brown eyes.

Melissa Susan Patzer

Melissa took a bus from Jamestown on Aug. 5, 2005, to Michigan. Shortly after, she went to Biloxi to find work after Hurricane Katrina. That’s the last time she was heard from. She’s been missing for 17 years. She has black hair, brown eyes and three tattoos: a Harley Davidson on her wrist, rose on her left shoulder and “Marv” on her upper arm.

Connie L. Hilbert

Connie hasn’t been seen since Nov. 8, 1996. She was last known to be leaving Valley City. Her vehicle was recovered in a river but she was never found. She has brown hair and green eyes, but no photo of Connie was available.

Kevin Gerald Mahoney

The last time Kevin was seen was Oct. 1, 1993. He went missing from Fargo at 25 years old. He reportedly walked away from a residence and wasn’t seen again. He has long, brown straight hair and blue eyes.

Kristin Joy Diede

Kristin and another person were last seen on Aug. 15, 1993, in rural Logan County. The vehicle she was riding in was reported abandoned in Aberdeen five days later. She was never found. Kristin has blue eyes and brown hair. She’s now 58 years old.

Joseph Bruce, Sr.

AKA Waylon Lafronboyce

Joseph went missing on June 25, 2018, in Devils Lake. He last had contact with his girlfriend on his phone at about 10 that morning. No activity has happened on his phone since.

He was known to be in Grand Forks, Belcourt and Spirit Lake prior to going missing.

Partial remains were found on June 9, 2019, on the Spirit Lake Reservation, but police didn’t say what was found. The case is still active until additional remains are found.

He has black hair and brown eyes, a scar on the right side of his neck, a chain tattoo around his neck with his daughter’s names (Alexis, Jo-lyn, Jo-zetta, Stacey) and he always wears a silver chain with his dad’s ashes around his neck.

Brenda Sue Murdock

AKA Brenda Romero

For seven years, Brenda has been missing. She was last heard from in Williston. Police say there was a possible sighting of Brenda in Rapid City in February 2016 but couldn’t confirm it. She also has ties to Colorado.

She has blonde hair and brown eyes.

Joel Allen Amundson

Joel went missing at 26 years old. He was last seen on Oct. 18, 1996. He disappeared on a hunting trip in McKenzie County. Police say his boat was launched from a boat ramp and was found around noon that day on the north side of the Missouri River in Williams County.

He’s now 51.

Joel has brown hair and hazel eyes. He has a left ear piercing and a scar from an immunization shot on one of his shoulders.

Michele May Julson

Michele dropped her 3-year-old son off at his grandfather’s home and was going to pick up her paycheck, play bingo and return to pick him up. She said she would only be gone a few hours. She never returned.

Michele never got her check nor played bingo. She’s been missing since Aug. 2, 1994, from Bismarck. She has brown hair, but occasionally dyed it auburn or blonde, and blue eyes.

She has a tattoo on her left shoulder of a small heart with a blood drop coming out of it.

Ronald Lee Johnson

Ronald was last seen on Oct. 16, 2011, driving toward New Town on Highway 23. He was 74.

He was in a four-door Cadillac with North Dakota license plates: HZZ466. He’s from Riverdale.

Ronald has partially gray hair and blue eyes.

Craig Rodgers Melton

Craig has been missing for nearly two years, since Sept. 17, 2020. The last he was heard from was when he left Fargo with two men to give them rides to Belcourt. His family said it’s unusual to not have heard from him.

He was driving a maroon 1999 Saturn SL with Oregon plates: 653KYU. The car was found on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation on Sept. 29 that year, but he is still missing.

He has brown hair and eyes and a goatee. Craig has two tattoos, pictured below, on his right and left forearms.

Kristopher David Clarke

AKA KC

Kristopher went missing on Feb. 22, 2012. He’s a native of Washington but came to North Dakota for work. He was last seen at his job at Blackstone Trucking in New Town. His truck was found a few months later in Williston.

In February 2016, James Henrikson was convicted of hiring a man to kill Kristopher. His body has never been located.

He has brown hair and eyes and a thin mustache. His ear lobes and upper ear are pierced and he may or may not have been wearing earrings. He also has a keloid on one ear.

Kristopher has linear scars on both legs, a scar on his left wrist, a scar on his stomach, and a scar on his left side around to his upper back.

Kristi Lynn Nikle

Kristi has been missing for 26 years. She was last seen by her family in Grand Forks on Oct. 2, 1996, but a family friend reported a sighting of her a couple of days later.

On Oct. 10, Kristi’s father contacted police to report her missing.

She has brown hair and blue eyes.

Robert Michael Anderson

Robert was last seen in rural Logan County near Wishek on Aug. 15, 1993, with another person.

The van the two were seen in was found abandoned in Aberdeen five days later. Robert hasn’t been seen since.

He has brown hair and blue eyes. He is 60 years old now.

Bruce Falconer

In February 1981, Bruce was promoted to sergeant in the Marines. He was home in Bismarck on leave before being transferred to Yuma, Arizona. He spent time catching up with old friends, including Tim Jewell, his friend since grade school.

The two went to a few bars on the night of Feb. 20, then went in Bruce’s Blazer to the “Desert” south of Bismarck along the Missouri River after the bars closed.

A few days later, Bruce’s uncle found the Blazer stuck at the Desert. Nearby was a campfire and cigarette butts. Tim’s body was found in 1992 by a hunter, but Bruce has never been found.

The Marines declared him dead five years after his disappearance.

The coroner determined Tim’s likely cause of death was exposure.

Bruce has a two-inch scar above his right eye and a tattoo of a dragon and silver arrowhead necklace. He has blonde hair and brown eyes.

Kenneth Edward Tank

Kenneth was last seen leaving Ralph’s Corner Bar in Moorhead on Dec. 2, 1971. The bar has since been demolished.

He went missing at 28 years old. He’s now 78.

He has brown hair and hazel eyes.

Thomas James Lapierre

On June 18, 2019, the Williston Police Department took a missing person complaint from a family member of Thomas. He was last seen on July 31, 2018, in Williston.

At the time of his disappearance, Thomas was homeless and experiencing medical issues.

He has a scar on his left hand, forearm and left elbow. He also has ties to Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, New York and Canada.

He has brown hair and brown eyes. He’s now 51 years old.

Leonard J. Brown, Sr.

Leonard went missing from Fort Totten at 49 years old on Aug. 6, 1994.

He was in the state for a family funeral. He reportedly left and didn’t make it back to his home in St. Paul. He had no transportation and was likely on foot. He has black hair and brown eyes.

He walks with a limp and is now 69 years old.

There was no photo of Leonard available.

Chase Wade Hurdle

On Nov. 2, 2021, at around 1:30 p.m. Bismarck police received a report that Chase was missing from the high school. Video shows he left around 8:54 that morning. He has a history of suffering from amnesia and his family is concerned.

He’s 18 years old now.

Chase has black hair, brown eyes and wears glasses.

Anne Fitzsimonds

Forty-eight-year-old Anne walked away from a small gathering at 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2020, four miles north of Petersburg. She was wearing a leather jacket, jeans and cowboy boots. She wasn’t dressed for the windy weather and 29-degree temperatures.

Police believe she may have tried to walk the 26 miles to her home in Inkster. Numerous ground and air turned up no clues.

Police also said there have been two potential sightings: one on the afternoon she disappeared at a gas station in the town of Michigan on Highway 2 and another, two days later south of Cando.

Anne is 5’2″ with red hair and brown eyes.

Daniel Olson

Daniel was reported missing on Nov. 3, 2021, after he didn’t show up to work.

Daniel was last seen in Fargo, but his vehicle was found abandoned in Bismarck on Nov. 4 near Cottonwood Park, with many of his belongings still inside.

The 38-year-old is 5’9″ and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Found

The body of Charles Bearstail, who was reported missing by his family on April 27, 2022, was found in Lake Sakakawea on June 4, a tragic end a little over a month after he went missing.

“On behalf of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, and all the search personnel involved during this incident response, the Incident Commanders for the Charles Bearstail Search Operation would like to extend everyone’s sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Bearstail during this immensely difficult time,” MHA Emergency Operations Center said in a press release.

The body of Ashlan Garcia, who was reported missing the week of April 18, 2022, was found in the Souris River on May 27 by people who were kayaking, a tragic end a little over a month after he went missing.

Police said his family reported he left home without his cell phone or wallet.

The body of Jordan Simeon, who had been reported missing on March 7, was found in a creek in Arkansas on April 27, a tragic end about one month after he was reported missing.

Simeon’s family told investigators that he was traveling from Fargo to New Orleans.

The body of Valene Little Bird, who hadn’t been heard from since Dec. 5, 2021, was found by a fisherman along the Missouri River on May 10, 2022, a tragic end about five months after she went missing. Dental records confirmed it was Little Bird.

The body of Tyler Schaeffer, who went missing at 18 years old on Sunday, May 1, 2022, was found in the Knife River on May 11, a tragic end 10 days after he went missing.

Schaeffer

Miessence Judd, who went missing at 18 years old from Minot on July 31, 2021, has now been found safe.

Fourteen-year-old Austin Fedak was missing since Jan. 26 in Williston. He has now been found safe as well.