Missing since November 12, 1999 from Marion, LaMoure County, North Dakota
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
Norman Limesand was last seen at approximately 15:30 on November 12, 1999 in Marion, North Dakota.
He was driving his red 1995, "Ford Club" Cab, pickup truck with North Dakota license plates EIP-754.
The vehicle had a red tool box featuring "4x4" decals installed in its bed. He was en route to his son's farm to help with chores.
The bloodstained pickup was located four days later parked in the Romkey Park neighborhood in Moorhead, Minnesota. DNA tests showed that blood found on the pickup belongs to Limesand. His disappearance began as a missing person search, but when his truck was found, police began treating it as a criminal investigation.
The day before Norman Limesand disappeared, he had a heated argument with his neighbor, Steve Allen Thomas, about a water drainage problem near the house Thomas shared with his mother, Bonnie Rosland.
Limesand, who had farmed in the area since 1947, also was a township officer for more than 30 years and took his job seriously. Part of his job was to manage culverts in the county, to make sure they were clear of obstructions so roads would not flood. Milton Limesand, who farms near his father's home, said he and his father visited Thomas the day before Norman Limesand disappeared. Milton Limesand said he and his father offered to help Thomas clean out the culvert but Thomas declined. The next day Limesand was gone.
Officials filed a murder charge against Thomas in August 2005. Investigators found Limesand's eyeglasses and traces of his blood on the approach to the home Rosland and Thomas shared in LaMoure County. Thomas had burned the area the day after Limesand disappeared.
In March 2005, Rosland was sentenced to five months in jail for lying to a federal grand jury about her son's whereabouts on the day Limesand disappeared. Rosland testified in 2002 that she gave her son a ride to Fargo on November 12, 1999, but phone records and interviews proved they were at their home.
Steve Thomas pleaded guilty to manslaughter in November 2006, and agreed to help authorities find the body of Norman Limesand. Thomas said in court that Limesand was killed during a hunting accident, and that he hid the body out of paranoia, in a place he can't remember. Thomas said at his sentencing hearing that he was hunting rabbits on the property when his dog flushed a pheasant. He said he did not know Limesand was in the area and accidentally shot Limesand in the face. Thomas said he put the body in Limesand's pickup and drove around before dumping it in a dry slough. But he said he could not remember exactly where he dumped the body - despite hypnosis and a lie detector test. The closest he could narrow the place where he dumped Limesand's body was in an 80-square-mile area that overlaps Stutsman and Barnes counties.
Thomas was a suspect early on. He was convicted in California in January 1995 on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury, and served a year in prison.
Steve Thomas was sentenced to ten years in prison.
Limesand was declared dead in March 2002, though no remains were ever found.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
LaMoure County Sheriff Department
Sheriff Robert Fernandes
LaMoure County Sheriff Department
Grand Forks Herald
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