FARGO — A 30-year-old man faces a felony charge after allegedly digging up a grave site, telling authorities he did so because electromagnetic signals were coming from within the grave.
Jordan Lee Schweitzer, of Audubon, Minn., was charged Friday, June 28, with a felony count of disturbing a human burial site.
On Wednesday, a Fargo police officer responded to Sunset Memorial Gardens at 1715 52nd Ave. S. for a report of a man digging up a grave, according to Cass County District Court documents.
While the officer was at the scene, a man fitting the description given by a witness approached the site. The man identified himself as Schweitzer and told the officer he was the one who dug up the grave, court documents show.
Schweitzer told the officer he was “being controlled by electromagnetic signals,” and said he was digging up the grave because “there were signals coming from inside,” court documents show.
Schweitzer was being held Friday at the Cass County Jail. His attorney Stormy Vickers declined to comment on the case.
The grave is the burial site of Josh G. Nelson, who attended Fargo South High School and worked for Cullen Insulation. He died from a heroin overdose in 2013, according to a previous Forum story.
The criminal charge against Schweitzer came after Darcy Nelson, Josh Nelson’s stepmother, told WDAY-TV on Thursday that the family would not push for charges against Schweitzer.
On Friday, Darcy Nelson told The Forum she left a message for the prosecutor handling the case, but had not heard back. "My hope is that the state would step in and give him the care that he needs rather than put him in jail," she said.
The Forum left a phone message for prosecutor Leah Viste on Friday, but it was not immediately returned.
A GoFundMe webpage has been set up to raise money to repair Josh Nelson’s grave, headstone and the decorations that had been placed there.
Josh Nelson's family said on Facebook that the grave was dug down to the concrete vault that holds the casket, though the casket apparently was not disturbed. The grave site has since been recovered with earth.