Hometown remembers NDSU student as homicide investigation proceeds


Sartell High School graduate Tom Bearson will be remembered in his hometown Friday night with a moment of silence at the Sartell football game.

Bearson is the 18-year-old North Dakota State University student whose body was found in Moorhead this week. His death has been ruled a homicide.

The St. Cloud Times reports football team will honor Bearson's memory with "TB" stickers on their helmets. Bearson was a standout athlete at the school.

A fundraiser at the game will raise money for Bearson's family.

"We hope to be able to present the family with some funds that they can use, perhaps for a scholarship," said Brenda Steve, principal at Sartell High School. Steve lives next door to the Bearson family. She told the newspaper that she had spoken to Bearson's parents and they are "doing as well as they can."

"My heart goes out to their entire family. I can't imagine what this is like," Steve said. "I think it's hard to lose a child, and to lose one this way just has to be so painful. I can't imagine."

The city of Moorhead announced Thursday that the Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined that Bearson's death was the result of "homicidal violence," but provided no details about how it may have occurred.

This embed is invalid

Bearson disappeared after attending a party near campus Saturday night. His body was recovered and identified Tuesday in an industrial area of Moorhead on the property of an RV sales business, about six miles away from the site of the party.

No suspects have been arrested.

With the determination that his death was a homicide, Moorhead police are asking for the public's help in finding Bearson's cell phone and one of his shoes – items that were missing from the scene where his body was found.

The left shoe is a white Nike Air Jordan size 9 1/2. The phone is a silver i-Phone 5. Police released photos of matching items, which you can see at left.

Police also released details about what Bearson was wearing on the night of his death:

"Thomas Bearson was reported to have been last seen Saturday September 20th at approximately 3:40 a.m. outside the residence of 824 14th Street North in Fargo. He was wearing a blue baseball cap, blue Sartell High School track and field shirt and khaki shorts."

Northland's NewsCenter says investigators searched in three specific areas: In the Fargo neighborhood where Bearson was last seen, an area long the Red River, and the Moorhead site where his body was discovered.

Police ask that anyone who finds the missing items, or has information about Bearson's death, contact authorities at (701) 451-7660.

Bearson graduated from Sartell High School last spring and was a four-time letter winner on the basketball team. When the St. Cloud Times notified the school's athletic director, John Ross, about the homicide finding, his response was "This is going to be tough on the kids," the Times reports.

Bearson's parents released ta statement Thursday, the St. Cloud Times reports, asking media outlets not to contact them until they've had a chance to grieve, and hold a funeral and wake.

This embed is invalid

This embed is invalid

Next Up

Target headquarters

2 men plead guilty to arson at Target headquarters in Minneapolis

The two men were charged in the Aug. 26, 2020, arson that happened following false rumors about a police shooting.

State Capitol.

MN House votes to condemn insurrection and false election claims, 8 GOPers vote against

The resolution condemned violence at the U.S. and state capitols and declared support for 2020 election results.

Michelle Young

Teacher from Edina steals Matt James' heart on 'The Bachelor'

She's also a former high school and college basketball star.

Screen Shot 2021-01-21 at 1.57.10 PM

Missing woman found dead in north Minneapolis

The 63-year-old's body was found three days after she was reported missing.

Mike Lindell, My Pillow CEO.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has Twitter account 'permanently suspended'

The move was taken by Twitter due to apparent violations of its Civic Integrity Policy.

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.


Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.