Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

ISP Logo

For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DCI Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Enter date here
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

UPDATE: Emmet County Death Investigation

EMMET COUNTY, Iowa -- More details are being released this morning as the result of an investigation into the death of Thomas Bortvit, 19, of Estherville. During the multi-agency investigation by the Emmet's County Sheriff’s Office, Estherville Police Department and Iowa Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal investigation (DCI), a suspect has been arrested and charged in connection to what is now being considered a homicide.

Last night, June 7, 2015, Murder in the 1st Degree charges were filed against Lee Samuel Christensen, 18, of Estherville. As a result of the charges, an arrest warrant was issued for Christensen by Emmet County Magistrate David Forsyth. Christensen is accused of using a firearm to kill Thomas Bortvit on June 6, 2015, in rural Emmet County.

Christensen was taken into custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and transported to the Hennepin County Jail, where he is awaiting extradition back to Iowa in regard to the charges.

This homicide investigation is on-going and more information will released as it becomes available.

Media contact: Alex Murphy, Public Information Officer, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), (515) 443-3014.

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

                                                                            Facebook        Twitter

To enroll in the DPS E-mail Notification system simply log on to and follow the instructions to enroll as a new user.