Two of four people slain at a North Dakota property management business were identified Tuesday as a married couple, with the woman’s daughter saying she is “in the dark” about what happened.

Police have not yet identified any of the victims. But Briann Miller told The Associated Press that her stepfather and mother — Bill Cobb, 50, a maintenance supervisor, and Lois Cobb, 45, an account specialist — were among the dead.

Miller said authorities gave her no details on how they died. Police planned a midday news conference to update their investigation.

“I just know that it was an attack,” Miller said. “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, of Girard, Illinois, said the Cobbs had moved from Illinois to North Dakota about six years ago and had just bought their dream home. She said they never gave any indication to her of any problems at work.

On Tuesday, the front door to RJR Maintenance and Management was locked and only one police officer remained visibly on scene a day after the bodies of three men and one woman were found at the business. A couple of people showed up to drop off rent payments.

Mandan is a city of about 22,000 just across the Missouri River west of Bismarck, the state’s capital and home to about 73,000 people.

Police have labeled the deaths a “multiple homicide” but have not identified the victims or said how they were killed. Police Chief Jason Ziegler has said authorities do not believe the killer is among the dead, but police have not identified a suspect or motive.

Deputy Police Chief Lori Flaten would not immediately confirm whether authorities had wrapped up their on-scene investigation Tuesday morning. Police called a midday news conference to announce more details.

Officers on Monday combed through the building, which includes an office area in the front and a large warehouse area in the back.

“The crime scene is contained to where it’s at, and there is no evidence based upon what we see that the public at large is in any danger from what happened there,” Ziegler said Monday. “It looks like an isolated incident.”

He said he was not aware of officers responding to any other recent incidents at the business that might have been connected to the killings.

“It’s very sad that there’s people in this world that would do something (like) what we had to experience today,” he said. “My heart goes out to the family members of these four victims.”

The building has many surveillance cameras, Ziegler said. He asked other businesses in the area that might have video footage they consider relevant to come forward.

The business is somewhat isolated despite its location in a business district near a busy main road known as The Strip. A large empty lot sits in the front, a golf course in back and a soccer complex to one side.

RJR’s website identified it as a family-owned company that has been handling commercial and residential properties in Bismarck and Mandan for more than 20 years. Its services include collecting rent for landlords, paying mortgages, re-renting apartments, building and grounds maintenance, lawn care, and snow removal. It also rents out storage units.

A “Meet Our Team” feature on the website pictured 22 employees.


Associated Press news researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report.


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