A Marine and also his close friend disappeared in ‘The Desert.’ The enigma sticks around in spite of exploration of the close friend’s bones

Editor’s note: This short article is No. 3 in a collection as The Safe records on missing out on individuals in North Dakota, whose instances are visited a brand-new data source from the North Dakota Workplace of the Attorney General Of The United States.

Marine Sergeant Bruce Falconer got on leave in his home town of Bismarck when he and also long time close friend Timothy Jewell struck the community to commemorate.

Falconer was fresh off his promo and also simply days far from a transfer that would certainly take him southern to Yuma, Arizona.

Life for the young Marine appeared encouraging.

Falconer and also Jewell were last seen repeling from a Bismarck bar in the Marine’s Chevrolet Sports jacket on the night of Feb. 20, 1981. 5 days later on, the lorry they were driving was uncovered along the Missouri River in a location recognized by citizens as “The Desert.”


Massive search initiatives carried out by bordering police divisions and also the Air National Guard in the days, weeks and also months following their loss did not show up any kind of hints.

After tiring all leads, the instance went chilly– till 12 years later on, when there was a huge break in the instance.

A ruthless search

Jewell and also Falconer were reported to have actually gone to numerous bars the eve they went missing out on.

Based upon meetings with witnesses that found the boys out, detectives identified they likely drove to The Desert at around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 21.

Regardless of not returning that weekend break, both were not reported missing out on till Feb. 24. Bruce Falconer’s mommy, Dorothy Falconer, made the telephone call to authorities.

His mommy informed authorities that her child remained in a great location in life, and also likely would not bow out everything. He additionally had incomes in your home that he had yet to cash money. All indications indicated something being extremely incorrect.


Bruce Falconer and also Timothy Jewell went missing out on in 1981 near Bismarck, North Dakota. The lorry they were driving was located in “The Desert,” revealed below on this map. Picture thanks to Newspapers.com. The picture was very first released in the Bismarck Tribune in June of 1981.

Her motherly impulses were appropriate.

The following day, the lorry they were driving was found in what is referred to as “The Desert,” along with the Missouri River. The Sports jacket was located covered in mud, according to a Bismarck Tribune short article composed in the list below days.

The exploration motivated a searching of the location, by both land and also skies. There were concepts that both boys left the lorry and also tried to make their means to the nearby radiating lights, which would certainly have taken them throughout the icy river. According to that concept, they might have dropped in.

Leads additionally gathered to the Burleigh Region Constable’s Workplace. Inevitably, they were all rejected.

Burleigh Region Constable Bob Harvey claimed in a 1981 Bismarck Tribune short article that the leading concept was that both boys left the lorry and also tried to make a fire to remain cozy. From there, they might have caught the icy components that specify winter season in North Dakota.

Much less than one month later on, Harvey thought that both boys most likely really did not make it out active.

” We need to attract the presumption they remain in there (the Desert someplace,” Burleigh Region Constable Bob Harvey claimed in a 1981 Bismarck Tribune tale. “And also if they remain in the location they are no more active.”


By November, Harvey surrendered hope entirely.

” We’re taking place the presumption that they’re dead. It simply does not appear really sensible that 2 individuals simply up, leave and also vanish,” Harvey claimed in a Bismarck Tribune short article.

Jewell and also Falconer were both thought about legitimately dead 5 months after their lorry was uncovered.

Still, the division maintained the instance available to brand-new explorations.

A break in the instance

Greater than 10 years later on, they located responses– a minimum of for member of the family of among the boys.

In December of 1993, a seeker came across skeletal remains in the exact same location where both males’s lorry was uncovered. The tale made headings in regional papers, yet Harvey was reluctant to make any kind of link in between the remains and also the instance of Falconer and also Jewell till a forensic evaluation was full.


The remains of Timothy Jewell, that went missing out on with Bruce Falconer from Bismarck in 1981, were uncovered in 1993 by a neighborhood seeker. The remains coming from Bruce Falconer have actually never ever been uncovered. Falconer continues to be a missing out on individual. Picture thanks to Newspapers.com. Initial picture from a 1993 version of The Bismarck Tribune.

By April, forensic evaluation verified that the remains came from Jewell. There were no indications of injury. It was thought he passed away of all-natural reasons.

At the time Jewell’s remains were uncovered, his family members had actually currently held a funeral. Yet, the 1993 exploration permitted the family members to hold a graveside solution, which they did weeks after the exploration.

“Tim has actually remained in our hearts and also petitions considering that the day of his loss and also will certainly remain to be missed out on by all that understood him,” Jewell’s obituary specified.

After the verified exploration, the constable’s division made ongoing initiatives to discover the remains of Bruce Falconer. To now, his remains have actually not been uncovered.

If you have any kind of details pertaining to the loss of Bruce Falconer, lease get in touch with the Burleigh Region Constable’s Workplace at 701-222-6651.

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