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Police issue appeal after person of interest in NDSU sex assault case goes missing

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Police in Fargo have issued an appeal for the public's help to find a person of interest as they investigate a sexual assault near North Dakota State University.

Officers interviewed Stanley Joe Busche Friday afternoon but released him last night. Since his release, he has gone missing after making statements to his family suggesting he may harm himself, according to the Fargo Police Facebook page.

Busche is believed to have access to weapons and police told a press conference this morning they think he is a danger to himself.

He was questioned over an armed sexual assault near the NDSU Campus, in which three women were ordered to take off their clothes at knifepoint.

"Over the last 12 hours we used a variety of tools to attempt to locate Mr. Busche. Based on statements he made to his family we believe him to be a danger to himself," Fargo police said on their Facebook page.

"We have alerted and have been working with other law enforcement agencies to attempt to find Mr. Busche. He was last known to be in the area of rural northern Richland County. He continues to be a person of interest in the sexual assault incident. We are asking rural residence of Cass and Richland Counties to check their property for Mr. Busche or his vehicle."

Inforum reports that Busche, who is considered a person of interest and not a subject at this stage, has a criminal history which includes an arrest in September 1997 for burglary at the Kappa Delta sorority house near NDSU, in which dozens of bra and pieces of underwear was stolen.

He pleaded guilty, and then in 2002 he was charged with felony burglary after breaking into a ground floor apartment in north Fargo, the newspaper notes.

The three women targeted in the incident on December 20 were international students, and at least one of them was sexually assaulted by the attacker.

The suspect was described as a white male, between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 9 inches tall with a slender build. He was wearing a black coat, dark pants, blue gloves, and a black cloth over his face, Inforum notes.

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