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Suspect Questioned in Connection With Death of Lapwai Teen Discovered in North Idaho Field


Law enforcement says a man from north central Idaho is behind bars at the Nez Perce County Jail in connection with the mysterious death of teenager who was found in a field earlier in the week.

Sunday morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that 51-year-old Russell McCormack is being held on warrants for probation violation and driving without privileges, but is being questioned in connection with the death of 18-year-old Ambrose Smartlowit.

Smartlowit's family reported him missing June 8. A short time later, his body was discovered in a field at Lapwai's Boyer Farms. Authorities said Smartlowit had been left in the field without transportation or water, triggering a criminal investigation. Nez Perce Tribal Police had indicated they were looking for McCormack, a work crew foreman, in connection with the case. Preliminary results of an autopsy indicated that Smartlowit died of heatstroke.

The Tribune reports McCormack could faces charges this coming week in connection with Smartlowit's death, including possible federal charges because the FBI is involved in the investigation.