Six months after he was found dead, North Dakota parents say son's murder was staged to look like a suicide

First it was a motorcycle crash. Then it was a suicide. Now murder. A Jamestown family says the past few months have been an emotional roller coaster ride.

FARGO — Feb. 22 marked the six-month anniversary of when 27-year-old Gunnar Syverson was found dead at a home in Hamberg, N.D.

Rumors have circulated as to how he died. Now the family says they need to set the record straight. They say the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation has told them this is a homicide investigation.

"I have to know what happened to my baby boy," said Pamela Syverson, of Jamestown, N.D.

Gunnar's death set off months of rumors. He had reportedly been chased on his motorcycle, and put the bike down near the home.

"I thought he died in a motorcycle wreck, I thought he hung himself, people deserve to know the truth," Gunnar's mother, Pamela, explained of all the rumors that were spreading.


Gunnar's mom said her son was found hanging from a shrub outside the home. She says the BCI told her it was staged as a suicide to cover for murder. Several people were reportedly at the home that day.

"Not just the one who had his hands around his throat, but everyone there who knows what happened and watched him die," said Pamela.

No charges have been filed. The Wells County Sheriff and county prosecutor did not return messages. The BCI has a policy that it does not comment on open cases.

Gunnar's parents say the BCI informed them two people of interest have been detained in Texas on unrelated charges.

"The BCI said we are dealing with some very dangerous people," Pamela said.

Both mom and dad say Gunnar had been thinking about getting a gun in recent months. However, they both reminded him he wasn't allowed to have one due to prior drug convictions.

"He was really nervous the last while, really nervous," said Pamela.

Pamela Syverson had a photo taken of her talking to her son right before they closed the casket at the funeral. She recalled what she told him.


"Sorry I couldn't save you, I couldn't protect you and how much I love you, and I don't want to be in the world without you, but I will fight and get justice," she recalled.

Pamela Syverson says she is constantly told that tragedies heal with time, but for her it gets worse everyday.

She has this message for those who know what happened to her son.

"Just come forward, and I'll ask them to be lenient with you as much as I don't want to I will." she said.

An anonymous donor is offering a $25,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved.

Anyone with information is asked to call the BCI at 701-328-5500. A GoFundMe site has also been setup to help with funeral costs.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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