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Body of missing Fargo woman found in Red River

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Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind2 / 2

MOORHEAD – Kayakers on the Red River made a grim discovery Sunday evening, Aug. 27, when they came across the body of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind.

Hundreds of searchers had been combing the Fargo-Moorhead area and nearby towns and fields for the 22-year-old, who was eight months pregnant when she went missing on Saturday, Aug. 19.

About 5:44 p.m. Sunday, the kayakers reported finding a body-sized object wrapped in plastic in the river, hung up on a log near the 90th Avenue Northwest bridge, Fargo Police Chief David Todd told reporters during an impromptu news conference about a quarter mile east of the river in far north Moorhead.

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About the same time the kayakers made their discovery, a search party was searching a nearby farmstead, Todd said.

“There are some suspicious items in that farmstead that lead us to believe that that may be a crime scene,” Todd said.

Law enforcement pulled the body from the river about 8:20 p.m., and the body was identified as that of LaFontaine-Greywind about 9:20 p.m., the chief said.

Todd said LaFontaine-Greywind’s family had been notified. He said the body will be sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office in St. Paul for an autopsy.

LaFontaine-Greywind lived at 2825 9th St. N. with her family in an apartment building near McKinley Elementary School on Fargo’s north side.

Family members said that on Aug. 19, LaFontaine-Greywind left the family’s apartment to help an upstairs neighbor who said she needed a model while sewing a dress. But LaFontaine-Greywind never came home.

On Thursday, Aug. 24, police found a healthy, newborn girl in the same neighbor’s apartment.

Police then arrested Brooke Lynn Crews, 38, and William Henry Hoehn, 32, who lived in that apartment. They are being held at the Cass County Jail awaiting formal charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, a felony.

They are expected to be charged this week. There was no word on what additional charges Crews and Hoehn will face with the discovery of LaFontaine-Greywind’s body.

Authorities are seeking to confirm that the baby was LaFontaine-Greywind’s through DNA testing. However, the suspects have told police the baby is hers.

"The interviews were cooperative up to that point," Todd said last week. At that time, he said the suspects refused to provide any information on LaFontaine-Greywind's whereabouts or whether she was alive.

The infant was immediately taken to Sanford Children's Hospital. The child was in good health and placed under the protective custody of Cass County Social Services, police said.

A few of the searchers – among the estimated 400 people who have participated in the public search for LaFontaine-Greywind since it began on Friday – watched Todd as he talked with reporters at a roadblock at the corner of 90th Avenue Northwest and 15th Street, while warning lights strobed on the top of two Clay County Sheriff’s Department SUVs.

With Todd when he addressed reporters were Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist and Fargo Police Deputy Chief Joe Anderson.

    Helmut Schmidt

    Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including education, Fargo city government, business and military affairs. He is currently The Forum's K-12 education reporter.

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