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Questions swirl in wake of man's death after being transported by McIntosh County sheriff's deputy

Dan Seminole, seen here with a horse, died after interacting with the McIntosh County Sheriff's Department on Thursday, Dec. 13, in south central North Dakota. Special to The Forum

WISHEK, N.D. — Friends and family of Daniel Seminole have taken to social media with questions and concerns following his death in a Bismarck hospital after experiencing what authorities said was a medical emergency while being transported by a McIntosh County sheriff's deputy late Thursday, Dec. 13.

Few details are available regarding what happened to Seminole, but Jon Kaatz, chief deputy for the McIntosh County Sheriff's Office in south central North Dakota, said Monday, Dec. 17, that after having a medical emergency, Seminole was taken by ambulance to a Wishek hospital and he was later flown to a Bismarck hospital where he died.

The reason the deputy was transporting Seminole was not being disclosed as of Monday, but Kaatz said the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the matter after learning about it from the sheriff's office.

Twyla Baker, who described herself as someone close to Seminole's family, said in a Facebook post that Seminole's family had been told he suffered cardiac arrest while interacting with the sheriff's office, but few other details had been shared with family.

Seminole's sister, Prairie Rose Seminole, said in Facebook posts that her brother was in rural North Dakota Thursday when his car broke down in McIntosh County or neighboring Emmons County.

She said her brother let the Napoleon Police Department know he had waited for a ride before deciding he was going to start walking.

"Next thing we hear is that my brother had died having gone into cardiac arrest while interacting with (the) sheriff's department. They flew his body to Bismarck," Prairie Rose Seminole said in a Facebook post, adding: "We're trying to understand what happened in his final moments."

Baker said a GoFundMe page was set up to help the family with funeral costs and any future legal expenses. As of Monday, the page had raised more than $6,600 in pledges toward a goal of $10,000.

In the past year, a number of other people have died after interactions with law enforcement or jail staff in North Dakota.

This past summer, Warren Lindvold, 72, died six days after he was arrested by Valley City police on suspicion of DUI and taken to the Barnes County Jail.

The BCI investigated the incident and sent reports to the Cass County State's Attorney's Office for review. Prosecutors determined evidence did not support criminal charges being filed against anyone in connection with Lindvold's death.

In October, Lonny Levi Bradley, 25, died in the Barnes County Jail.

Barnes County State's Attorney Carl Martineck later said Bradley’s death was caused by asphyxia from self-hanging, a conclusion he said was based on reviews done by the state medical examiner, the BCI and the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Prairie Rose Seminole said on Facebook that her brother had been building a shelter for horses he owned, and after hearing about her brother's death, she went to check on them.

"We saw the stars and the land in the moonlight and thought even alone in this place, he was surrounded by real beauty and maybe didn't feel as alone," Seminole wrote.

Dave Olson
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