Douglas Dulmage murder suicide: Owner of Cando, North Dakota farm among four men dead in wheat field as rural community seeks answers.
‘Everyone loved Doug. Doug didn’t have enemies.’
A rural community in North Dakota has been left dazed after a farmer was found dead in his wheat field along with three other men, thought to be family relatives, in what authorities believe to be an apparent murder-suicide.
Douglas Dulmage, 56, was fatally shot on his combine harvester in a field south of Cando on Monday, friends and police said.
The Towner County Sheriff’s Office in a release said its deputies were dispatched to the wheat field after receiving a report of four unresponsive individuals. All four men had died from apparent gunshot wounds and a .357-caliber revolver was found near one of the bodies, according to the sheriff’s office.
‘Evidence from the scene indicates that this incident was a murder-suicide and there is no known threat to the public,’ the sheriff’s office said in a statement Tuesday.
‘He was a pillar of the community; it’s a total devastating loss,’
On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office released the identities of the deceased: Douglas Dulmage, 56, of Leeds, North Dakota; Justin Bracken, 34, of Leeds, North Dakota; Richard Bracken, 64, of Leeds, North Dakota; and Robert Bracken, 59, of Cando, North Dakota.
A .357 revolver was recovered near one of the bodies, but officials did not say which.
While authorities publicly provided few details, NBC News cited locals saying a dispute during wheat harvesting led to one man killing his brother, his son and Dulmage before turning the gun on himself.
Dulmage owned the property and lived with his wife and two daughters in the neighboring town of Leeds, a town of about 500 people. The other three men, who authorities believe are related, worked for Dulmage and were helping him harvest the wheat, WDAY reported.
Dulmage’s body was found in his combine harvester, according to his close friend, Pat Traynor.
‘He was a pillar of the community; it’s a total devastating loss,’ Traynor told WDAY. ‘He epitomized what it was like to be in the country, in terms of friendliness, kindness, empathy, people helping each other.’
Adding, ‘Everyone loved Doug. Doug didn’t have enemies.’
‘It is hard to understand why something like this would happen in a rural farming community,’
‘He was a tremendous role model for all of us.’
Dulmage was also a volunteer firefighter in his hometown and a longtime member of the North Dakota Farm Bureau. He currently served as the president of the Benson County Farm Bureau.
‘It is hard to understand why something like this would happen in a rural farming community,’ NDFB President Daryl Lies, president of the North Dakota Farm Bureau, said in a statement Wednesday. ‘When evil presents itself, it can be devastating but we must remember there is more good than evil in our world. Doug’s dedication to agriculture and love for his family will forever be remembered.’
The community is planning on helping the Dulmage family with harvesting the rest of the crop.
‘If we could all be a bit more like Doug, the world would be a much better place,’ Traynor told WDAY.
No known motive was immediately divulged.
Cando is a town of just over 1,000 people, located just 40 miles south of the Canadian border and 118 miles west of Grand Forks.