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Names released in case of body found near Spiritwood, N.D.

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The Stutsman County Sheriff's Office has released the names of the alleged murder victim whose body was found Saturday near Spiritwood, N.D., and the two suspects accused in the crime.

Officials arrested Leron "Ra Ra" Lee Howard, 33, and Janelle Alexandra Cave, 22, both of Jamestown, Saturday. They were charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder, both Class AA felonies.

Stutsman County State's Attorney Fritz Fremgen said the victim was found around noon Saturday. He was identified as Abdi Ali Ahmed, 18, of Jamestown.

Ahmed moved to Jamestown in March, said Chad Kaiser, Stutsman County sheriff. He'd been living with Somali families who had also recently moved to Jamestown. Ahmed's mother lives in Ohio, Kaiser said.

Bond was set at $450,000 cash each for Howard and Cave. Howard has requested a public defender. Cave indicated she would seek to retain her own counsel. A second court date has not been set for the two.

Kaiser said he couldn't speculate as to how long the body had been in Spiritwood or how it got to the ditch.

He would not comment on any potential motive in the alleged murder.

The cause of death remains under investigation. The North Dakota Medical Examiners Office will perform an autopsy.

"The investigation is still ongoing," Kaiser said.

The sheriff's office is being assisted by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Jamestown Police Department.

About 20 people live in Spiritwood, which is located about 10 miles east of Jamestown. The last homicide case the Stutsman County Sheriff's Department handled occurred about 17 years ago in Pingree.

A Class AA felony is punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment without parole.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Stutsman County Sheriff's Office at 701-252-9000.

Sun reporter Katie Ryan-Anderson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at kryan-anderson@