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Possible sighting of Ranger, missing since fatal western ND accident

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The search for Ranger, a dog who disappeared following a fatal car accident, still continues, with a possible sighting Wednesday near Beach.

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Jerry and Celeste Roper were heading west on Interstate 94 on Aug. 25 when they were involved in an accident with a truck. Jerry Roper died on scene and Celeste was treated for her injuries.

Area officials are still on the lookout for Ranger, a brown and white springer spaniel, and say haven't given up hope.

The latest sighting by motorists place Ranger east of Beach.

Jean Hofer, an animal groomer who has headed up the search for Ranger, said while officials are uncertain if it really was Ranger, the way he acted made it appear it was.

"He was very fearful, he was running along the interstate and went up against the fence line when the person stopped their vehicle to get out," Hofer said. "To have people continually try to catch him, that would not be good. We can't say for sure that it's him, but the description and how he's acting, that is our opinion. We haven't personally seen him."

Hofer believes Ranger is in the Beach area is due to the fact that crash debris is located there.

Hofer encourages those who see the dog to not attempt to apprehend him.

"People who see him should just report the sightings so we can analyze where he's going," Hofer said. "I'm hoping someone will call and I know there are lots of good people out there looking for him, every time we get a sighting we kind of have a network of people that we call."

On Aug. 28, Ranger was spotted by mile marker 19 on I-94, heading south. Wearing a collar and tags, Ranger is about five years old and weighs 35 pounds, although his appearance may have changed, officials say.

Sandy Baertsch, a member of the Billings County Ambulance crew, one of the agencies that responded initially to the August crash, said Wednesday's sighting seemed promising.

"We have the posters everywhere and there's people looking everywhere," Baertsch said. "We haven't given up."

Anyone with information regarding Ranger's whereabouts can be referred to Hofer's home at 701-483-8201.

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