A man who allegedly kidnapped an International Falls woman this week died Thursday.
Todd Allen Bergh, 50, of International Falls, died Thursday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the Koochiching County Attorney's Office.
International Falls police responded to a report of a kidnapping at about 5 p.m. Tuesday on the 1400 block of state Highway 11-71. A woman had been forced into a van by a man with whom she had a prior relationship, according to a release from the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement from across the region converged on the area and a search for the vehicle began.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., St. Louis County sheriff’s deputies located a vehicle matching the description heading south on U.S. Highway 53 near Kabetogama Lake. A pursuit began that reached speeds of 80 mph. Deputies deployed stop sticks, damaging the van’s wheels, but the pursuit continued.
Several officers used their vehicles in an attempt to stop the van, which eventually pulled into a motel parking lot along Highway 53 in Orr and stopped.
The kidnapping victim exited the passenger side door and fled to a wooded area, where law enforcement located her a short time later.
At about the same time the victim fled the vehicle, officers heard a single gunshot from inside the van, according to the release. Officers observed the suspect with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Bergh was transported by Life Link Air Care to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth for treatment of life-threatening injuries where he succumbed to his wounds Thursday.