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Dead body found under truck in Fargo auto repair lot

Police responded Monday evening, Feb. 5, to a report of a dead body found in a lot behind an auto repair shop in Fargo. Kim Hyatt / Forum News Service

FARGO—The body of a man was discovered Monday, Feb. 5, underneath a dump truck parked in a lot behind a Fargo auto repair business, city police said.

Officers were dispatched about 5 p.m. to the lot behind Bilal Auto Repair Workshop. Yellow tape was set up around several vehicles, and officers were investigating the area before the body was removed from the scene.

Sgt. Jim VanLith said foul play is not suspected at this time. And he noted that it does not appear the truck was related to the man's death.

The cause of death was not immediately known. VanLith said an autopsy will be performed later this week.

Police have identified the man, but his name was withheld because his family had not been notified.

It's not clear how long the man's body had been under the truck.

The high Monday was 6 degrees in Fargo, and the low dipped to minus 7, with wind chills of minus 20, according to the National Weather Service.

Over the weekend, the weather was even more bitter. Sunday, Feb. 4, the high was 3 degrees, and wind chills dropped to minus 35.

In January 2014, a homeless man died of exposure just a block from where the body was discovered Monday. In that case, Randy Lee LaFontaine, 48, was also found under a truck.

LaFontaine had no permanent address and frequented the Gladys Ray Shelter, which is the area's only shelter that takes in homeless people who have been drinking alcohol. Autopsy results showed LaFontaine had alcohol in his system, and his death was ruled accidental.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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