Deaths of Moorhead family members, mosque vandalism among top stories in 2021

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FARGO (KVRR) – The tragic account of 7 members of an immigrant family from Honduras who died in a Moorhead home in December was the most-viewed news story of 2021 on

Relatives discovered the victims Dec. 18 when they went to check after not hearing from them.  The were identified as 37-year-old Belin Hernandez, 34-year-old Marleny Pinto, 16-year-old Breylin Hernandez, 7-year-old Mike Hernandez, 5-year-old Marbely Hernandez, 32-year-old Eldor Hernandez Castillo and 19-year-old Mariela Guzman Pinto.

Police say the victims died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.  Additional tests are under way to determine if the odorless gas came from the home’s furnace or a van in the garage.

A vandalism incident at a Moorhead mosque in April was the second-most popular story of the year among website visitors.

Twenty-two-year-old Benjamin Enderle was accused of spray painting hate messages at the Moorhead Fargo Islamic Center.  “Death to Islam” and “Go to Hell” were among the words painted on the building’s exterior.

Enderle pleaded guilty.  Much of the credit for solving the case was given to a Walmart security officer in Dilworth.

Next in line was a story was about an unusual sentence given to a man convicted of threatening the life of Minnesota U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar.  A federal appeals court ruled that the man would not have to listen to stories about Muslim refugees because the unusual sentence was too vague to be appropriate.

Other notable events included a report about multiple fireball sightings in Minnesota and North Dakota, a Minnesota woman who pleaded guilty to raping a young boy in South Dakota and a Dent, Minn. man who was found dead in an air duct in his home.

Reports about the closure of the Fargo Famous Dave’s BBQ, a Fargo contractor who was banned from doing business in the state, the firing of the West Fargo School District’s transportation director, and Keith Donarski, a missing northern Minnesota man who was later found safe, were also among the top ten stories of 2021.

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News, North Dakota News, South Dakota News