|Published:||Jan 29, 2011 9:24 PM EST|
|Updated:||Jan 29, 2011 7:45 PM EST|
MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Police in the north central North Dakota town of Minot said Saturday they've made no arrests in the slayings of four people in two homes and would not say whether a person questioned in the deaths was being held.
Police have said a female was found dead in a south Minot home Friday afternoon, and three other bodies - two male and one female - were discovered in a trailer southeast of town. Minot Police Capt. Dan Stranberg said Saturday that he could not release the victims' names as family members have yet to be notified.
Stranberg said police have questioned a "person of interest" but he would not disclose any other details. He also would not say how the victims died, if a weapon was involved, or disclose the victims' ages or relation to each other.
Minot Police Chief Jeff Balentine released a statement earlier saying police believe the deaths are related, but he did not say how.
A steady stream of onlookers drove past both crime scenes in the snow-covered city Saturday.
Police insisted the public is not in danger.
"We don't have a gunman out there running amok," Balentine said during a Friday night news conference televised by KXMC-TV. "That is not the case. We have a fairly good handle on occurrences, and we feel we can handle this."
Minot, which is about 100 miles north of Bismarck, has a population of about 36,000 and is home to the Minot Air Force Base, which has about 4,800 active-duty military personnel. It's also in the shadow of the state's booming oil patch and has benefited from the region's increased crude production in recent years.
The North Dakota Attorney General's office said 15 homicides occurred in North Dakota in 2009, up from four in 2008 - the lowest on record. The 2010 statistics were not yet available, but the state has averaged about 11 homicides annually.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Ward County Sheriff's Office were helping Minot police with the investigation.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)