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Remains of missing North Dakota native Julia Jacobson believed to be found

Julia Jacobson, who was born in Dickinson and grew up throughout the region, has been missing since the beginning of September. Police believe her remains may have been found. (Submitted photo)

CACTUS CITY, Calif. — The remains of a retired U.S. Army captain and North Dakota native who has been missing in the San Diego area since early September may have been found, police confirmed Friday.

The remains, suspected to be that of Julia Jacobson and her dog, Boogie, were found in a shallow grave near the 10 Freeway and Box Canyon Road near Cactus City on Friday, the Ontario (Calif.) Police Department said. Cactus City is an unincorporated area northeast of San Diego.

Jacobson, 37, who was born in Dickinson and grew up throughout the region, was originally reported missing on Sept. 2 to the San Diego Police Department. Investigators from the SDPD conducted an extensive search for Jacobson, which led them to the city of Ontario. The Ontario Police Department then became the lead agency.

Jacobson was last spotted on security video at a store in Ontario around 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2.

Jacobson's work vehicle was located on Sept. 7 about half a mile away from her residence in San Diego. Police said the windows were down and the keys were inside.

Jacobson's ex-husband Dalen Ware was arrested for the possible murder of Jacobson in October.

"Based on additional investigative actions, which included the forensic analysis of Jacobson's car, detectives have reason to believe that Julia Jacobson was murdered," the Ontario Police Department said in a news release in October.

Cpl. Fred Alvarez, with the Ontario Police Department, said the investigation eventually led them to Cactus City in Riverside County. Alvarez said starting Wednesday they had around 140 officers from various police departments searching the area for evidence and remains of Jacobson.

"The suspect provided some information and (Friday) we came out to the area with the San Bernardino County Sheriff cadaver dog, Ellie, who did a search and found a shallow grave which had some remains that looked to be an adult female and a dog," Alvarez said.

Alvarez said the coroner's office will confirm the identity of the remains at a later time.

Jacobson has family and friends in the Bismarck-Mandan area and around the region. A memorial service was held for her in Mandan on Friday afternoon. The family has also created bracelets in honor of Julia and Boogie. Proceeds will go towards a scholarship in memory of Julia at Spearfish High School in Spearfish, S.D., where she went to high school. They are available at

Sydney Mook

Sydney Mook has been covering higher education at the Grand Forks Herald since May 2018. She previously served as the multimedia editor and cops, courts and health reporter at the Dickinson Press from January 2016 to May 2018.  She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!

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