UPDATE: Body of missing Northfield man found in farmer's field - Northfield MN: Local

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UPDATE: Body of missing Northfield man found in farmer's field

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Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014 6:00 pm | Updated: 6:25 pm, Mon Apr 28, 2014.

(Updated Monday with news from Northfield Police Department and to reflect the coroner's report.)

Three weeks to the day after a Northfield man was reported missing, his body was found in a farmer's field on Saturday.

According to a release from the Northfield Police Department, at about 1 p.m. Rice County Sheriff’s deputies and Northfield Police officers responded to a report of a found body in a slough/field area southeast of Woodley Street East and Hall Avenue in Northfield. A local farmer discovered the body while doing field work. Members of Northfield Fire-Rescue and the Rice County Coroner’s office responded to assist.

Initial investigative reports indicate the cause of death was determined to be suicide, and that the time of death was roughly consistent with how long Nevin had been missing. 

Officers identified the deceased male as Christopher Monroe Nevin, who had been reported missing on April 5, the week before he was due to be sentenced on a sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult charge stemming from a 2013 incident.

Police Chief Nelson said the conviction was not mentioned in early reports of Nevin's disappearance because he said he didn't believe it was relevant.

The Northfield Police Department has dedicated at least 150 hours searching for Nevin since he went missing in early April. The volunteer group Northstar Search and Rescue organized three searches with trained dogs, and Carleton College security assisted officers searching the campus arboretum, where it was supposed that Nevin was heading. Friends and family of the missing man also organized searches.

Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson expressed thanks for all the groups involved in the three-week search.

“There’s never enough that we can do,” he said. “We do what we can and do the best we can, and hope that we can come up with a result.”


Last Saturday morning, Christopher Monroe Nevin, of Northfield, walked out of his home, and his family hasn’t seen him since.

Nevin, 44, was last seen around 12:30 p.m. at the Northfield golf course, heading in the direction of the Carleton Cowling Arboretum. The Northfield Police Department did a scent search of Nevin’s home Tuesday and staged a large-scale search of the college arboretum Wednesday, but so far no results have turned up.

“We’re being as thorough as we can,” said Sgt. P.T. Haider. “We’re working hard to make sure we have a good resolution for the family as soon as we can.”

Wednesday’s search included five dogs, handlers and horses as about 20 people from the Northfield Police Department, the Dakota Sheriff’s Department, Northstar Search and Rescue and the Northfield Police Department reservist program looked for the missing man.

Nevin used to work at Carleton and has been reported as enjoying the arboretum, so the Northfield Police Department decided to start searching there.

After searching all day Wednesday, Police Chief Monte Nelson said the searchers found nothing related to Nevin. While he said the department is still deciding what step to take next, he added that any future searches will likely include the numerous community members who have volunteered to help look.

The department also sent out a missing person alert to Twin Cities media outlets and other parts of the state.

“We’re still weighing our options and taking this minute by minute,” Haider said. “It’s a fluid situation.”

The Northfield community has already rallied around Brenda, Nevin’s wife, and his family. Local resident Shannon Miller has started a Facebook group called “Help Find Chris Nevin.” More than 750 people have joined the group already and have begun organizing volunteer searches, which are documented on a “Google Earth” map set up on the Facebook page. People can also send checked locations to a gmail account, findchrisnevin@gmail.com.

The group has also started a list of volunteers if the Northfield Police Department will need assistance in the process. Anyone can join and share information. In addition, an account system has been setup at Wells Fargo to help with family expenses: Chris Nevin Family Donation Trust.

Sheri Acosta, a close friend of Brenda Nevin, said Brenda is grateful for the outpouring of support she has received from the Northfield community and also for the time and resources that the Northfield Police Department and others have put into the search. She added that she is also grateful to Sgt. Haider, who has “gone above and beyond and been wonderful in the whole process.”

Nevin is 5-foot, 11-inches and 230 pounds with brown hair. He was last seen wearing brown Sorel boots, a black jacket and possibly a baseball cap.

He suffers from depression and recently stopped taking his medications. He left most of his possessions at his home, including his cell phone and his wedding band.

Nevin was due to be sentenced next week on a sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult charge stemming from a 2013 incident, which he was convicted of this February. No more information about the incident was available.

Nelson said while the department was aware of Nevin’s record, officers are focused on finding the missing man.

“We have no reason to believe he’s any danger to the public,” he added.

Citizens with information regarding Nevin or his whereabouts are urged to call the Northfield Police Department at 507-645-4475.

© 2015 Southernminn.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Jerry Smith posted at 5:39 pm on Mon, Apr 28, 2014.

    Jerry Smith Posts: 47 Staff

    ScottOney ... Thanks for pointing out that we did not move the "according to the Hennepin Medical Examiner's Office" in the updated story, which does make the story confusing. It will be changed immediately.

  • Grace Webb posted at 5:38 pm on Mon, Apr 28, 2014.

    Grace Webb Posts: 6

    Hi ScottOney, thanks for pointing that out. When I updated the story after receiving the NPD's press release regarding Nevin's cause of death, I forgot to take out the line about the department waiting to hear back. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office reported that cause of death was suicide.

  • ScottOney posted at 5:25 pm on Mon, Apr 28, 2014.

    ScottOney Posts: 23

    Grace, the article seems to contradict itself. First we have this:

    "According to the release [from the Northfield Police Department], the cause of death was determined to be suicide." There's no indication of who determined cause of death.

    Then later in the article:

    "Nelson said the department is waiting to hear back from the Hennepin Medical Examiner’s Office for cause of death."

    Have they heard back already, or was the info. at the top of the article just the Nfld PD's best guess?

  • Ofsilence posted at 7:29 am on Mon, Apr 28, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    What many people who were posting on here were saying was that the public was duped by the media and the police by them withholding information about the ENTIRE situation regarding this individual. Nobody on here said that Chris Nevin should die. There are many people that care for all kinds of criminals. Technically, all criminals have families. Chris Nevin is responsible for the personal anguish felt by his own family. Nobody on this board committed the crime that Chris Nevin was found guilty of.

    There is something seriously disturbing about your comments because this is an individual convicted of a sexual crime against an impaired individual. THIS IS A SERIOUS CRIME! This isnt some random fella who stole something out of a car to pay for his next high. This is somebody who took advantage of an impaired individual and committed a sexual crime. This guy was found GUILY of this crime, yet, people like you come on here and act like its not a big deal. When this guy initially went missing - this should have never been a "missing person" search, it should have been a search looking for a convicted felon similiar to when a sex offender is on the loose.

    Nobody said this guy should go shoot himself in the field. And you can stick your head in the sand all you want about brushing to the side the SEXUAL OFFENSE he was convicted of.....but I think most rational people are in a different boat on this. It's an unfortunate situation but people shouldnt be "shamed" because they are seeking out the facts. Remember, it was the family that made this go public.

  • 7outof10 posted at 5:04 pm on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    7outof10 Posts: 314

    I guess we can feel sorry for the family (which I do) but let's not forget the real victim here. One question is who will pay for all the resources at went into the "search"? I'm sure it is the taxpayers.

  • treefrog posted at 1:27 pm on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    treefrog Posts: 7

    I do not know this man nor the details of his conviction. However, with a close relative as a client of Laura Baker, the "sexual assault of a vulnerable adult" scares the crab out me.
    Having said that my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends - let the healing begin.

  • MattWagner posted at 10:23 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    MattWagner Posts: 1

    Thank you, Green573. That's exactly what I wanted to say also.

  • Green573 posted at 9:56 am on Sun, Apr 27, 2014.

    Green573 Posts: 1

    I’m saddened to hear about Chris and my heart goes out to his family and friends to mourn his loss. I hope people who have commented hear can understand that Chris is loved by many people who know him to be a kind, giving man who has done much good in this world. This is how I remember him. A person who has spent most of his life helping others.

    I don’t know the details of the recent charges against him and do not dismiss them and their importance. I just know that those charges don’t describe the person as a whole. That is not how I remember him and it is unfair to insinuate that this person has no worth due to these charges. I hope that in the future those who commented here can take a broader look at situations before they comment. There are many people who care for Chris and his family who have read and been hurt by your comments but have not posted here.

  • parentvoice posted at 9:31 pm on Sat, Apr 26, 2014.

    parentvoice Posts: 445

    Whatever he did or didn't do, my heart goes out to his wife and children. My sincerest condolences.

  • Ofsilence posted at 7:51 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    I felt bad for this guy too when this story first came out.

    And then the REAL story came out about his sexual offense and I couldnt believe that the Northfield News and the police didnt release this information in the original story since it was public information.

  • Ofsilence posted at 7:47 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    So he plea dealed down to a Gross Misdeanor Sexual Abuse charge. His initial charges were for:

    1) Criminal Sex Cond-4th Degree-Victim Mental Impair/Helpless

    2)Crim Abuse-Sexual-Caregiver/Staff-Vulnerable Adult-Sexual Contact/Penetration

    The information regarding the plea deal had not been made public yet but my original comment was not all that far off. He is still being convicted of a sexual offense against an impaired individual and is due to be sentenced this Friday.

    How can you think that this is NOT an important piece to this story?

  • Ofsilence posted at 7:38 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    I guess "mudslinging" is now defined as when someone states facts about a news story that the family involved does not want released because it will negatively impact them...........even though it's a key part of the story.

    It's amazing how many people could care less about facts so that they can live in fantasyland.

  • Ofsilence posted at 7:35 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    Glo and Tired - Are you two purposely sticking your hand in the sand because you dont want to believe the FACTS that surround this "missing" man?

    It's not my fault or any other poster on here that the Northfield News and the police created a false narrative leaving out a KEY DETAIL as to the background of this man. Nor is it any of our fault that we posted some of the missing details on this forum because obviously some individuals have something vested into this false narrative.

    This isn't Mr. Rogers that's missing. Its a convicted sexual predator who was due to be sentenced this Friday. Im sorry you folks think that this isnt that big of a deal but to most people who at first thought this was a tragic event where a mentally unstable man went awol....it IS a big deal because the public was duped.

    Welcome to reality.

  • Ofsilence posted at 7:31 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    Glo - This is a forum board that ENCOURAGES discussion. It's no different than what you see on other major news organization websites. Discussions is a good thing. It weeds out nonsense. It took DISCUSSION on this board to point out that some serious FACTS were left out of the initial reporting of this missing man to paint a false narrative, thus, duping the public.

    Congratulations! You find it tacky! Then dont participate. That's your choice.

    And what comments are "cruel and judgemental" in particular? There's nothing on this board that resembles that. Maybe you're just irritated that you people dont think the same way you do?

  • Glo posted at 7:01 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Glo Posts: 7

    You seem to know everything, 7 out of 10. Let me explain my earlier comments:
    The banter on this page tends to get cruel and judgemental, and pretty soon the people who are posting are "talking" to each other, commenting on the comments they have made. Take me, for instance - I am doing it right now, even as I find this incredibly tacky. I won't do it again.

    ps. I do not know, have never met, am not friends with the man who is missing, or his family.

  • 7outof10 posted at 10:34 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    7outof10 Posts: 314

    Glo and Tired, you are obviously friends of the family and have every right to your opinion. That bringing said a convicted sex offender has "fled" his proper sentence. What have you to say about that?

  • TiredOfRudeness posted at 9:53 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    TiredOfRudeness Posts: 2

    Glo, I really appreciated your comments. My earlier comment was directed to you and your attempt to get above this discourse. It does no one any good. And our community is better than what you read on these message boards.

  • TiredOfRudeness posted at 9:46 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    TiredOfRudeness Posts: 2

    Amen! Thank you for being a voice of reason here.

  • 7outof10 posted at 9:39 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    7outof10 Posts: 314

    Glo if it were my kin, friend , friend of family that were "convicted" I would be trying to help the victim of the crime not trying to sympathize with the victim or their family. Again I am trying to stick up for nevin saying he has the right to disappear unless convicted of a crime which it seems he was. Sorry that is his fault.

  • Glo posted at 9:21 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Glo Posts: 7

    For goodness sakes, could we all just be a little kinder here? A person is missing. His family and others are worried and are searching for him. From reading everything that the news has written, and from the comments posted here, in whatever order that they have appeared, the comments here have been harsh and quite cruel. This does not help the situation at all. God forbid this should happen in your own family. I would think that you would not be so loud, in that case. So be quiet and stay inside your own house. No one is asking for you help or your opinion.

  • 7outof10 posted at 9:00 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    7outof10 Posts: 314

    Technicality at most by the poster, he was wrong to do what ever he did and was convicted of. You as a fact finders do you condone what he was convicted of? What if it were you or your family member?

  • 7outof10 posted at 8:57 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    7outof10 Posts: 314

    How is it "mudslinging" if someone is stating facts. Also my whole question is not about what he did but the fact that he has the right to disappear unless he is convicted of a crime. If then he should face the punishment. Anyone in the US should have the right to "go away" if they want without anyone questioning or trying to find them.

  • Katherine80 posted at 6:29 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Katherine80 Posts: 6

    I do not think anyone is really mudslinging here. Mr. Nevin tarnished his own reputation in a big way. I do believe people feel a bit duped by this situation. There is a huge difference between a mentally unstable person wandering off and a convicted sex offender waiting to be sentenced,disappearing. The level of sympathy for this individual changes drastically. In my case, I feel no sympathy for him. I feel sad for his family because his actions have obviously hurt them deeply.

  • jewels22 posted at 5:46 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    jewels22 Posts: 1

    Let's get your facts straight before you start smearing a person's name. He was NOT convicted of a 4th Degree Sexual Conduct crime (or a "Level 4 Sex Crime" as you put it) which is a Felony. That charge was dismissed. He WAS convicted of a Gross Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse crime. That is crime he's due to be sentenced on this Friday.

  • nfldlifer posted at 4:01 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    nfldlifer Posts: 9

    My sympathy lies with the wife and young children of this man. I hope that he can be found soon and they can get closure. At that point you can go back to your mud slinging.

  • oldschoolguy posted at 3:04 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    oldschoolguy Posts: 262

    I too have had the disappearing text without a reason.
    I actually felt bad for this guy until the real story broke!

  • Ofsilence posted at 1:52 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    This publication is notorious for protecting certain folks from criticism and stifling certain dialogue because it's not the narrative they want people to pursue.

    There is absolutely NO REASON why the public was not informed at the beginning of this "search" that the man missing is a sexual predator who was due to be sentenced this Friday. I see all these "Missing" posters around the city with this man's face on them and each one should now be stamped with the phrase "Convicted Sexual Predator".

    Im able to give some slack since this is a local news organization and they dont have the resources as a lot of their counterparts but in cases like this you always look up public background information to make sure everything checks out. It's pathetic this obviously wasnt done.

    And the police claim the public isnt in danger? The guy that's missing was convicted of a level 4 sexual offense against a vulnerable adult due for sentencing this Friday. He suffers from depression and stopped taking his meds. He left his wedding ring at his place of residence and just disappeared. This sounds like a guy who might have nothing left to lose. There's too many holes in this for the police to say this guy is not a danger to the public.....but then again.....this is the same police that forgot to tell us that the fact he is a sexual predator.

  • 7outof10 posted at 1:41 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    7outof10 Posts: 314

    It is funny that a nondescript post gets deleted from time to time. I've had a few in the past myself deleted but at least I would see the "this post has been removed" icon. This time it is just gone.

  • Ofsilence posted at 1:11 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    Seems kind of fishy, doesn't it?

    And its not like this information is "hush hush". You can find this information on the MN bureau of criminal offenses website. ANY police officer or "journalist" could have looked this up and found this information.

    So either we have lazy cops, lazy journalists......or all of the above.......trying to paint a picture of a false narrative.

  • Ofsilence posted at 1:08 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    Haha - join the club! A lot of us on here have had our posts deleted for very frivolous reasons.

  • 7outof10 posted at 12:41 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    7outof10 Posts: 314

    Can someone explain to me why my last post on this thread was deleted? All I said was "someone should be able to disappear if they'd like unless you are running from a conviction or other law offense". In this case it looks to be the latter. Was it because I referenced another case of someone goine missing in Northfiled? If so that is weak at best for deleting my post.

  • treefrog posted at 11:38 am on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    treefrog Posts: 7

    Was Nevin out on bail?
    Would the Northfield News please explain why the conviction wasn't posted until a week after his disappearance?

  • Ofsilence posted at 7:49 am on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Ofsilence Posts: 740

    This is all public information so I dont see why this shouldn't have been posted to begin with.

    Nevin was convicted of a level 4 sexual offense in February and he was going to be sentenced this Friday (April 18th).

    Why wasnt this information released to begin with in the first article about this "missing man"? The initial reporting of this story made it look like this was some completely innocent man who might have had some kind of mental breakdown and was potentially suicidal. Everyone can feel sympathy about someone in a situation like that. Now we find out this guy is a sexual predator and was found GUILTY of a sexual offense, thus, making him a sexual predator who was going to be sentenced this Friday (April 18th).

    Ironically, the guy goes "missing" about a week before his sentencing for a serious sexual crime against an impaired individual.

    Like treefrog says below - this seems more like someone who is on the run from a conviction than some innocent guy who had a mental breakdown.

    And how many of these volunteers know about this conviction because it seems like a lot of the back story on this situation has been withheld from the public to provide a false narrative.

  • treefrog posted at 7:53 pm on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    treefrog Posts: 7

    Is there a reason to believe this guy isn't just on the run from the conviction?

  • whatever posted at 7:42 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    whatever Posts: 340

    thanks for the info, I didn't realize that they used dogs in that search.

  • parentvoice posted at 9:42 pm on Wed, Apr 9, 2014.

    parentvoice Posts: 445

    Prayers and thoughts with the entire family.

  • Grace Webb posted at 12:19 pm on Wed, Apr 9, 2014.

    Grace Webb Posts: 6

    The Northfield Police Department did spend several weeks searching for Joshua Bohlen when we went missing in Sept. 2012. Police officers, firefighters and several volunteer groups searched many miles around the last place he'd been seen. Efforts included aerial searches, bloodhounds, mounted police, a device to detect body heat from the air and members of the Northfield police, fire department, Rice and Goodhue counties sheriff’s departments, and a SWAT team on foot.

  • whatever posted at 9:55 am on Wed, Apr 9, 2014.

    whatever Posts: 340

    I'm glad their doing this search for the missing man. My question is, why wasn't this done for the man who went missing over a year ago?


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