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Published January 17, 2011, 03:01 PM

Authorities Suspend Search For Cooperstown Man's Body

Authorities believe 54-year-old Kurt Johnson was shot in the forehead and then decapitated. A California man is being held on murder charges in the case.

Griggs County Sheriff Robert Hook says the search for Kurt Johnson's body is being suspended while authorities "regroup" and focus on building the case against Wacht. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is also involved in the case.

Authorities believe 54-year-old Kurt Johnson was shot in the forehead and then decapitated. Johnson's head was found in the basement of Daniel Wacht's Cooperstown home. His body has not been found. Wacht is charged with murder and being held without bail.

The Griggs County Sheriff's Office says Johnson was last seen with Wacht on December 31st outside of the Oasis bar in downtown Cooperstown.

A witness says Wacht was seen pushing Johnson into the cargo area of a burgundy van. Griggs County Sheriff Robert Hook says authorities are asking for anyone who saw a maroon Chevy Astro van around the time of Johnson's disappearance to contact them with information at 701-797-2202.

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