In October 2022, male human remains were found in a rural area near the 4500 block of Highway 83, south of Minot, North Dakota. The Ward County Sheriff’s Department investigated the scene and worked with the North Dakota State Crime Lab to attempt to identify the unknown man. No foul play was suspected.
The initial tests performed by the North Dakota State Crime Lab failed to generate a usable DNA profile. There were few clues at the scene and so without a DNA profile, the man remained unknown. The case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified System (NamUs) as UP96706.
In December 2022, the Ward County Sheriff’s Department partnered with Othram to see if they could build a usable DNA profile and generate new leads to the identity of the unknown man. Othram generated a suitable DNA extract from the remains and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a comprehensive DNA profile. The Ward County Sheriff’s Department developed a lead suggesting a possible identity for the unknown man and secured reference DNA swabs from possible family members. Othram used KinSNP® rapid familial testing to confirm a sibling relationship.
The Sheriff's Department completed their investigation and positively identified the man found in October 2022 as 63-year-old, Manly Bacon. The Sheriff’s Department expresses their condolences to the family and those who knew Manly Bacon, as well as thank those who contacted their office, providing information and leads regarding the case.
The case will remain open with the Sheriff’s Department until a final report is prepared by the North Dakota Medical Examiner’s Office.