Still without answers, family of slain NDSU student Tom Bearson asks for cooperation


The family of Tom Bearson says it's "time for everyone to cooperate with law enforcement" as they continue to investigate the college student's mysterious death.

Valley New Live reports Bearson's family released a statement Wednesday – more than nine months after the Sartell, Minnesota, native and NDSU freshman was found dead in a Moorhead industrial park – encouraging anyone who was last with Tom Bearson to do what law enforcement asks, including take a polygraph test

The family's statement was prompted by a Facebook post from Bearson's girlfriend, Erica Traut, that was published Tuesday. The post shared more than 250 times and generated dozens of comments.

In it, she claims some of the last people to see him alive are refusing to take a polygraph test, saying they need to go through with it to prove they had nothing to do with Bearson's death.

"If you are innocent than you have nothing to fear," she wrote. "Take the test so you can clear your name and move on with your life. Do the right thing. Justice4Tom."

Moorhead police told The Forum they can't comment on an ongoing investigation; while a Fargo police lieutenant wouldn't comment on Bearson specifically, he said the department does use polygraphs during the course of certain investigations.

Tom Bearson case

Bearson, 18 years old at the time of his disappearance, went missing around 3:40 a.m. on a September Saturday. Days later, his body was discovered at an industrial park in south Moorhead, more than 5 miles from a house party where he was last seen.

His death was ruled a homicide.

Since then, there's been little public progress in the investigation.

Days after Bearson's death, authorities had asked for the public's help finding Bearson's silver-colored iPhone 5, and one white Nike Air Jordan left tennis shoe, size 9 1/2.

In February, authorities said the final autopsy report showed he did not die of a drug overdose of alcohol poisoning. But they declined to release the full report. There were no motives or suspects at the time, either.

Investigators were also searching for a dark-colored, four-door vehicle that was seen on surveillance video at a business near where Bearson’s body was found, about four hours after he was last seen.

In March, warrants showed police were looking at Bearson's phone app activity, specifically messages he sent and received through Snapchat.

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