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Bowman reacts to murder at motel

BOWMAN -- The small town of Bowman was still rattled Monday after a rural Bowman County man was found dead in a motel room there Saturday. "It's a little scary," Bowman resident Mandy Stedman said. "It hits home." Three unidentified suspects in t...

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The El-Vu Motel in Bowman is shown on Monday. A man was found on Saturday dead in his own blood by staff. (Press Photo by Kalsey Stults)

BOWMAN -- The small town of Bowman was still rattled Monday after a rural Bowman County man was found dead in a motel room there Saturday.

“It’s a little scary,” Bowman resident Mandy Stedman said. “It hits home.”

Three unidentified suspects in the alleged homicide were arrested Sunday in Colorado, about a day after the victim was found in a pool of blood at the El-Vu Motel south of Bowman along U.S. Highway 85.

El-Vu housekeeping staff discovered the man on the floor of a room, according to a statement released Sunday by Bowman Police Chief Charles Headley.

The three suspects in custody include a Bowman man, a Bowman woman and a man from Minnesota.

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Police department officials said Monday that more information about the case will be revealed during a press conference scheduled for 1 p.m. today.

El-Vu Motel manager Christina Pfahl said “our hearts and our prayers go out to all families involved” and asked for privacy as the investigation continues. Bowman police officers are investigating the case with the help of state Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents from Dickinson and Bismarck.

After interviews and following up on leads, along with help from law enforcement agencies in Wyoming and Colorado, the three suspects were taken into custody.

Stedman said people in Bowman believe they know the identities of those involved, even though police have not released those names yet. She added that she believes the man’s death was related to drugs and that drugs have always been in Bowman, but “it’s just getting worse”

“We all knew within, not even 24 hours, we already had names,” she said. “It’s only obvious because it is a small town. People know your ins, your outs, which vehicles you drive and who you were with.”

Sen. Bill Bowman, who represents the area in the state Legislature, said he wasn’t aware of the situation until he was eating breakfast Monday morning in Rhame.

Bowman said while he doesn’t know anything about the case, he knows that this is a tragedy for the area.

“All I know is that anytime this happens in a community, it’s devastating to the community,” he said.

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Stedman said that she, along with others in the community, are concerned with the fact that they were not alerted to the situation as it was unfolding.

“The whole issue and the concern was that nobody informed us that a potential murderer was walking our streets,” she said.

Stedman said she only found out about the events when they were posted on Facebook Live by the local newspaper, the Bowman County Pioneer.

“You should probably inform the community that it happened in, but that didn’t happen,” she said.

Jerry Weiler has called Bowman home for around 20 years. But unlike Stedman, he said he wasn’t concerned about being notified because the police were handling the situation.

“If people are notified, they seem to get in the way of what the men in blue are trying to do,” he said. “I feel they did what they needed to (to) keep the scene and story intact.”

Stedman, who was born and raised in Bowman, said it’s a friendly town full of good people.

“We’re a good small town,” she said. “We really are. We still wave (to people in the car). That’s just the kind of town it is.”

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Weiler said it’s a shock to see this happen in this small community.

“I feel sad for the families that are affected,” he said. “I mean Bowman is a small community and we all know everyone. I am shocked that it happened and hope we never have another incident like this for along time.”

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