Estherville,IA (ABC9 News) – An arrest has been made in the shooting death of a 19-year-old who was reported missing from Estherville, IA over the weekend.
18 year-old Lee Samuel Christensen of Estherville has been charged with first degree murder. Christensen was apprehended in Minneapolis, Minnesota early Sunday morning by airport police. The investigation was led by the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office, Estherville Police Department, Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS), and the Iowa Division of Criminal investigation (DCI).
Thomas Bortvit was reported missing on Saturday night, with his friends and family telling authorities they were concerned for his safety.
After locating his body on Sunday, authorities opened an investigation into the homicide.
On Sunday evening, an arrest warrant for 18-year-old Lee Christensen of Estherville was filed for Murder in the First Degree. Emmet County Sheriff Mike Martens says Christensen is accused of using a firearm to kill Bortvit in rural Emmet County on Saturday.
Christensen was taken into custody in Minneapolis, MN and transported to Hennepin County Jail. He is awaiting extradition back to Iowa for the charges.
Bortvit was entering his sophomore year at Iowa Lakes community college, studying Criminal Justice. The school’s executive Dean told ABC9 its a tragedy for both individuals involved.
“How this happened or why this happened, all the questions, all the unknown answers. The only consolation is the public can sleep a little easier knowing that there isn’t a threat out there. It is just a very sad ordeal for the college and the community,” said Robert Liefield, Iowa Lakes Community College Executive Dean.
This is an ongoing investigation.