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Suspect —Daniel Wacht — was thought to be driving a 1995 red GMC Safari van in t

Crow Wing Sheriff's Office to assist in murder case

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news Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Griggs County Sheriff’s Office, Griggs County, N.D., are requesting assistance in the investigation of a New Year’s Eve murder case from Cooperstown, N.D., reported Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl.

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Dahl reports that investigations have indicated that the suspect —Daniel Wacht — was thought to be driving a 1995 red GMC Safari van in the Crosby area within days of the incident. The remains of the victim, Kurt Johnson, have yet to be found and investigators believe Wacht may have disposed of Johnson’s remains en route to or upon arrival in the Crosby area.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office assisted by Central Lakes Search and Rescue have been searching the Crosby, Ironton, Cuyuna and Trommald areas for the victim’s remains. K9s and their handlers have been used. No remains of the victim have been found at this time, however searches will continue.

Citizens are asked to contact Sgt. Scott Goddard of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office with any information they may have regarding this case at 829-4749.

According to Griggs County Sheriff’s Office, Daniel Wacht was likely in the Crosby area on Jan. 4 and investigators believe he traveled south and east cross country to Crosby from Copperstown, N.D. on Highway 10, possibly through Detroit Lakes, Lake Park and Hawley into the Fargo/Moorhead area and back to Cooperstown, N.D. Wacht had been to Crosby before on a previous social visit in late 2010 and was somewhat familiar with the area.

Investigators believe this could have been a way to hide or dispose of Johnson’s remains in an effort to conceal the crime.

According to Forum Communication’s website, InForum, Wacht, is charged with AA felony murder, accused by prosecutors of shooting Johnson, 54, a Cooperstown native and North Dakota State University researcher, in the forehead from close range with a 9-mm handgun. The InForum reported that jury selection was anticipated to conclude Tuesday.

To read more about the case go to http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/358489/group/News/.

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