On November 5th, 2002 the body of a Montana man was found just off of Highway 2, outside of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Russell Turcotte was a fun-loving nineteen-year-old, who like many, loved music, especially rock and roll, and dancing throughout the house with his mother to it. Turcotte is remembered for his smile, his warm kind soul, and his faith in people.

So the question his family has, we have, and the people of the community of Wolf Point, Montana have is, "What happened to Russell Turcotte?". 

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Last seen on July 12, 2002, Turcotte was leaving a gas station in Grand Forks, trying to make his way back to his home state of Montana. Linda Hansen, Turcotte's mother, had promised to send him some money to help get him home sooner to attend a wedding. Turcotte never picked up that money.

Turcotte had been hitch-hiking his way back home when he was last seen on that gas station video surveillance. That surveillance was the last known footage of Turcotte. Somehow he had made it 100 miles west from that gas station where his body was found a half a mile off of Highway 2 almost four months later, by a rancher attempting to catch his cattle in the tree line.

Photo by Zyanya BMO on Unsplash
Photo by Zyanya BMO on Unsplash

After an investigation, Turcotte's death is ruled a homicide by "blunt force trauma to the back of his head". Almost 20 years later, Turcotte's family is not any closer to solving his murder and either is the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation.


What kind of evidence was collected? It is said that there was a "bag of evidence gathered", what did it contain? With the advancements of DNA testing, none of the evidence gathered could be used today to help make this cold case, a solved case? The lead Bureau of Criminal Investigation Agent, Mark McNamee passed away several years ago, leaving Ramsey County and NDBCI in charge.

So the question remains, "What happened to Montana's Russell Turcotte"? We may never know. Anyone with any information regarding the case of missing Montana resident Russell Turcotte is directed to contact the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office at 701.662.0708 or the Wolf Point Montana Police Department.

cc: ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Wolf Point Montana Police Department

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