Welfare Check Leads to Gruesome Discovery in North Dakota Home

Welfare Check Leads to Gruesome Discovery in North Dakota Home
(Screenshot/Fox 9)

NTD Photo

Four bodies were discovered in a house in North Dakota on Thursday, May 4, during a welfare check.

School officials told Fox 9 that the four people found dead are a parent and three children, later identified as Astra Volk, 35, and her children Arianna, 6, Aidan, 10, and Tyler, 14.

All four were killed by gunshot.

Police officers described a gruesome scene that Lt. Derik Zimmel said will have a dramatic impact on people in the community going forward.

“I think this incident is going to have a dramatic effect on people, I think it’s going to affect family members of those who have passed,” Zimmel said. “I think it’s going to affect the officers that were on scene and having processed this information.”

The discovery was made after the Lewis and Clark Elementary School requested the Grand Forks Police Department to perform a welfare check at the home after the children began missing classes.

The officer who went to the house saw what he believed was a dead body inside, so he forced his way into the home and found the four bodies and a handgun on the scene.

“It’s going to shake the community a little bit,” said Lt. Zimmel. “We’re not used to things like this happening, so when it does it has an impact on people.”

Officers said they later found out that Volk had started a fundraiser on the website GoFundMe eight days ago, stating that she didn’t have enough money for rent and that she suffered from mental illness.

In the post on GoFundMe, Volk said she and her two sons “suffer from mental illness, bi-polar, manic depression, autism” and that all had been hospitalized at times for the illnesses, reported WDAZ.

“I work full time but my wages have recently been garnished for medical bills,” she wrote. “I’m looking for help with one month’s bills to help get on our feet and look for a second job. I am trying to stay positive so I do not end up back in the hospital.”

Volk said she worked at Cirrus Aircraft but was forced to get help from food pantries due to the medical bills.

Neighbors told the broadcaster that Volk was separated from her husband, the children’s father.


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