MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two years since his murder, North Dakota State University student Tom Bearson’s death has remained a mystery: Few details, no motive and no arrests.
Through it all, his parents have remained focus on giving back while battling their grief.
As a Catholic school teacher in Sartell for most of her career, September was once filled with excitement for the year ahead for Deb, Tom Bearson’s mother.
“It’s no longer a fun month for me, and obviously for us,” Deb Bearson said. “It’s just that constant pit in your stomach and you just wish it were different.”
However, after their 18-year-old son was killed, September seems different.
“It’s a battle every day,” Greg Bearson said.
Tom Bearson just started school as a freshmen at North Dakota State University when he went missing on Sept. 20, 2014. His body was discovered three days later in an RV lot in nearby Moorhead. His iPhone 5 and Nike Air Jordan have never been found.
Beyond that information, little else has been publicly released, including how he died.
“They continue to tell us that the case is very, very active,” Greg Bearson said.
Investigators visited the Bearson family twice this summer.
A Moorhead police representative told WCCO that Tom Bearson’s death is considered the department’s highest priority, weighing heavily on officer’s hearts. As for why so few details have been disclosed, police say doing so could be detrimental to their hunt for his killer.
“We’re very confident that there’s going to be a resolution in the case,” Greg Bearson said.
Early on, the Bearsons knew they wanted to give back for all the support they’ve been given.
Their foundation raised $80,000 for a gym remodel at St. Francis Xavier, a new floor, glass backboards and lights, a tribute to their son, the standout basketball player for the Sartell Sabres.
“I have so many memories in this gym, so many amazing memories of Tom in this gym,” Greg Bearson said.
Now, the Bearsons will focus on college safety, preparing students sooner for the freedom that lies ahead.
“That burst of freedom when you leave high school, it’s a really heady experience,” Deb Bearson said.
They’re working to better the world as they patiently await justice and push on, for Tom.
“Giving back to the community is really kind of therapy to the soul,” Greg Bearson said.
Two more fundraisers are planned for next year. The foundation also awards three scholarships to basketball players in Tom Bearson’s name.
To find out more about the Tom Bearson Foundation, click here.