Missing Air Force family of 4 found dead after Thanksgiving crash

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) –  A North Dakota family reported missing in southeastern Montana died in a single-car crash on Interstate 94 in Billings, Montana on Thanksgiving.

The Montana Highway Patrol says the crash site was found at about 8 p.m. Friday after investigators pinged their cellphones.

Carter County Sheriff Neil Kittelmann told The Billings Gazette Saturday the victims were Anthony and Chelsi Dean, both 25, from the Grand Forks area of North Dakota, and their daughters, 5-year-old Kaytlin and 20-month-old Avri.

Sgt. Dean was assigned to the 69th Maintenance Squadron at Grand Forks Air Force Base and was a member of the Manvel North Dakota Volunteer Fire Department. 

The patrol says their Toyota 4Runner went off the interstate near Huntley at about 7 a.m. Thursday and traveled through the median before going airborne off an embankment. The SUV struck a concrete bridge support pillar and came to rest in Pryor Creek.

The Deans had visited family in Caldwell, Idaho and were traveling to Ekalaka, Montana.

They were scheduled to arrive at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22. They last contacted the family at 6:30 a.m. Thursday from Billings.

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