Chad Isaak is the 44-year-old man accused in the murders of Robert Fakler, Adam Fuehrer, Lois and Bill Cobb at a family-owned business in North Dakota. Isaak, a chiropractor from Washburn, is in custody at the McLean County Jail, the Mandan Police Department says.
All four victims were found dead in mysterious circumstances inside of RJR Maintenance and Management in Mandan, a town on the outskirts of Bismarck on April 1. Three of the victims, Fuehrer and the Cobbs, worked for the company, which specializes in maintaining apartment buildings and homes in the Bismarck and Mandan areas. One of the company’s co-owners, Fakler, was also killed.
Isaak’s arrest was announced the evening of April 4 in a press conference by Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler. In a statement earlier in the night, the Mandan police said, “Mandan Police, along with the assistance of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the McLean County Sheriff’s Office are following up on a lead that led investigators to Washburn. A person of interest has been detained. This is an ongoing investigation. We will continue to update with further developments as this progresses into the evening.” Police said they are not looking for any other suspects. Isaak will make his first appearance in court in Burleigh County at 1:30 p.m. on April 5.
Here’s what you need to know about Chad Isaak and the killings:
1. Chad Isaak Is Facing 4 Counts of Murder & While No Motive Has Been Revealed, Police Confirmed the Trailer Park Where He Lives Is Managed by the Company Targeted in the Attack
Chad Trolon Isaak is being held on four counts of murder, according to the McLean County Sheriff’s Office. The 44-year-old Washburn, North Dakota, resident was booked into the jail on April 4. Isaak was arrested when a vehicle investigators connected to the case was spotted by the sheriff’s office in Washburn. Deputies conducted a traffic stop and detained Isaak while a search warrant was executed. Evidence led to probable cause to arrest Isaak on murder charges. The investigation is ongoing.
At a press conference, Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler told reporters he could not say what the motive in the killings was. He said that remains under investigation. But Ziegler did confirm previous media reports that Isaak lived in a trailer park managed by RJR Maintenance and Management. He lives in the Northview Mobile Home and RV Park, according to public records. Ziegler did not elaborate if police suspected that played a role in the company being targeted for the April 1 attack.
Ziegler also told reporters that he could not yet release how the victims died. He said they died either of gunshot wounds or stab wounds. Ziegler also said they have not yet received the medical examiner’s report that would reveal when the victims died. He also said he could not say if a weapon or weapons were recovered at the scene or after Isaak’s arrest. It is not clear when Isaak is scheduled to appear in court.
2. Surveillance Video From the Morning of April 1 Showed a Truck Driving Up to the RJR Office Before the Police Were Called
The manager of a nearby bowling alley, Darin Helbling, told the AP that the police had come to him to ask to see his outside surveillance videos. One report says that Helbling’s surveillance video shows a truck pulling into the RJR parking lot at around 7 a.m. Four minutes later, an RJR company truck pulled out of the business.
No other cars pull into the building until the police showed up at 7:30 a.m., according to the AP’s report on the video. According to public records, Isaak is the owner of a Ford F-150 pickup truck. According to police, Isaak was identified as a suspect in the case after his vehicle was identified as being at the crime scene.
“We went through a lot of video, surveillance video, and tracking everything, we got pictures of the vehicle and we were able to track it to where we found it in Washburn,” Mandan Chief Ziegler said at the April 4 press conference. “That was early on Monday, once we started getting leads.”
The investigation was led by the Mandan Police Department with assistance from county, state and federal law enforcement partners. Ziegler thanked the other departments for assisting and also the public for the tips they provided.
3. Isaak Owns a Chiropractic Business in Washburn & Previously Had an Office in Hazen
Chad Isaak is a licensed chiropractor in North Dakota, according to public records obtained by Heavy. He was issued his license in 2009 and has no disciplinary record. His license is active until September 1, 2019. Isaak is listed as having an office on Main Street in Washburn.
According to a database that provides information about medical providers, Isaak has been a chiropractor for more than 13 years. He graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, in 2006. Isaak was featured in a supplement to the McLean County Independent newspaper in 2015. According to the article, Isaak graduated from Riverdale High School. He was one of three graduates of Riverdale’s class of 1992, according to The Bismarck Tribune archives. Isaak also graduated from United Tribes Technical College in 1999, where he studied nursing.
He said he pursued a career as a chiropractor after his own injury while playing high school football. “I went to medical doctors, physical therapists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, even mayo clinic. and for the most part, the medical community was really unable to help me,” Isaak said in the article. “I started seeing a chiropractor that my father was going to, and they actually got me to a point so that I could play football again. That’s what go me on the road to chiropractic, because all of these people that were in the field and supposed to be experts really couldn’t do anything for me, but a chiropractor could.” He said in the article he also treated dogs.
One of his patients, Nicole Blackaby, told KX News, “I wouldn’t have guessed it. I wouldn’t have assumed it. It hits pretty close to home…It makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me sick.”
4. Isaak, a Navy Veteran Has No Prior Criminal Record in North Dakota, Is Divorced, Has a Daughter & Has Previously Lived in Hawaii & Iowa
Public records show that Isaak has previously lived in several places, including: Kapolei, Hawaii; Fallon, Nevada; Bismarck, North Dakota; Bettendorf, Iowa; and Hazen, North Dakota. Only one previous run-in with the law was immediately found in criminal record searches, a 2014 citation for failure to wear a seat belt issued by North Dakota police.
Online business records show that Isaak previously was the registered owner of Isaak Chiropractic Of Hazen, located in Hazen, North Dakota. The business is listed in records as being closed as of 2008. Isaak’s parents live in Hazen and he spent time living with them there in recent years, records show.
Court records show that Isaak has been divorced since 2000 and has a daughter from his marriage. His ex-wife took him to court several times in the early 2000s in battles over child support payments, records show.
Isaak and his ex-wife married on August 16, 1995, according to The Bismarck Tribune archives. His ex-wife is a native of Hawaii. According to his marriage announcement, the couple met when Isaak was serving in the U.S. Navy as an assistant lab technician at Pearl Harbor. Isaak joined the Navy after graduating high school and completed basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, in November 1992. Further details about his military service, including when he left the Navy, were not immediately available.
5. The Victims Will Be Remembered April 9 at a Combined Memorial Service
The four victims will be celebrated at a combined memorial service on Tuesday, April 9, KXMA-TV reports. The memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m. at the Bismarck Community Church at 1617 Michigan Avenue in Bismarck.
There are 22 employees listed on the RJR’s “Meet Our Team” section of the official website. On his Facebook page, one of Jackie Fakler’s cousins says he is employed at RJR. The couple’s daughter is a bookkeeper for RJR. The business has been in operation for more than 20 years, collecting rents for landlords, organizing rentals of apartments and maintaining buildings for landlords, along with snow and lawn care. Under each employee’s photo, each is afforded a quote. Robert Fakler wrote under his photo, “Say hello to my little friend,” a reference to an iconic line spoken by Al Pacino in “Scarface.” While Jackie wrote under her photo, “Never say never.” The business website says that RJR offers 24-hour, 7-day a week service. The company also rents out storage units. The company moved into its current office in November 2017.
One of the company’s clients, Suzette Wall, told KXMB-TV on April 1, “I had a walk through scheduled and they never showed and I came here to see what was going on and I stayed–they have been great people to lease from. Always very courteous and kind and caring and I just want to know that they are alright.”
Prior to being publicly identified, Adam Fuehrer’s sister, Natasha Towne, told the Associated Press that her brother had worked for RJR for eight years. Towne added that she was “frustrated” that nobody could tell her about the status of her brother. Tragically, on April 2, it was confirmed that Fuehrer, 42, was one of those who had been killed in RJR’s building. Fuehrer did not have a profile listed on the RJR website.
Bill Cobb, 50, and Lois Cobb, 45, were married. Speaking to the Associated Press, Bill’s stepdaughter Briann Miller said, “I just know that it was an attack. I don’t know how it happened, what it happened with. I’m left in the dark still. None of this makes any sense. All I know is my parents are gone.” Miller went on to say that her parents moved from Illinois to North Dakota in 2013 and had recently bought a new home. Miller said her parents never indicated there were any problems at work.
On his official profile on the RJR website, Bill Cobb is listed as being a maintenance supervisor. Bill gives his favorite quote as, “I’m your huckleberry,” a quote attributed to cowboy gunslinger Doc Holiday in the movie “Tombstone.” While Lois Cobb is listed as an accounts specialist. Her favorite quote is “Peace begins with a smile,” which was said by Mother Teresa.
On March 30, an RJR employee, Ben Pace, wrote on Facebook, “This morning, I spent time with some of the most amazing people I know. Cleaning up garbage and making the world a little prettier! #HappySpring The RJR Maintenance & Management crew is my favorite.” While on the morning of April 1, Pace wrote on Facebook, “I am okay. To people prying for information, please stop. For the ones checking in on me, thank you from the bottom of heart.” That status update was flooded with comments from people offering thoughts and prayers regarding the situation.