MINOT, N.D. -- The apparent self-inflicted hanging of a Ward County Jail inmate is under investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.


There is no indication of any wrong doing on the part of jail administration or staff. The BCI is called upon to investigate such matters so as to prevent any appearance of impropriety. It is not known when the investigation will be completed.

Although the name of the deceased was not released by jail officials Monday, sources outside the jail confirmed that Walter "Buddy" Springstead, 24, was found dead in the jail during the early morning hours on Monday, reportedly between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. The body was taken to Bismarck Monday for autopsy to determine an exact cause of death.

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Springstead was picked up on a warrant last Friday for possession of drug paraphernalia and refusing to halt and booked into the jail.

The Ward County Jail has been under intense scrutiny since it was served with an order of noncompliance on Dec. 19, 2014 following a Department of Corrections investigation that found care at the jail "grossly inadequate." A state monitor was assigned to the jail for a period of "up to one year" but the monitor continues to assess jail procedures beyond the 12 month period.

The monitor was assigned following the death of inmate Dustin Irwin in early October 2014, the event that triggered the Department of Corrections investigation.