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Big Horn County Coroner arrested in Billings

Posted at 12:18 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 20:10:06-05

BILLINGS - Big Horn County Coroner Daryl Craig Nordquist was arrested Wednesday by Yellowstone County deputies at about 5 p.m. in Billings, a spokesperson for the Yellowstone County jail told Four Points Press.

Nordquist was appointed to the Big Horn County coroner position on July 30, 2020 by the county commission after long-time coroner Terry Bullis retired.

He was wanted for felony attempted burglary and failure to appear in Big Horn County and is being held on a $60,000 bond in connection with a Jan. 22 incident where he allegedly tried to kick in the door at a residence owned by the Hardin Cemetery District at the Van Zandt Road and Cemetery Road intersection west of Hardin. According to the woman in the house, Nordquist was reportedly making threats against her and her husband, at one point saying “Open the f—-g door you son of a b—h I am going to kick your a-s.”

During the investigation, deputies saw Nordquist’s pickup truck parked in the westbound lane on Van Zandt Road.

According to charging documents, at approximately 7:17 p.m., Nordquist called county dispatch and sounded “out of breath … like he was running.” He told the dispatcher he loaned his truck to his son and the truck had broken down at the “cemetery house.” The dispatcher asked Nordquist for his location and he ended the call.

Dispatch called Nordquist back on a recorded phone line and told him the vehicle needed to be towed because it was blocking the road. Nordquist reportedly responded by using expletives and threatening language.

Meanwhile, deputies saw an open can of Twisted Tea in the cup holder of Nordquist’s truck, and keys in the ignition. Deputies also saw fresh damage to the front driver’s side of the truck and leaking fluids from the vehicle, which created a trail, along with vehicle tire tracks, that led to a canal access road just west of the residence where Nordquist was reportedly threatening the residents.

Deputies also reportedly found an empty Twisted Tea can on the ground at the entrance to the canal access road near a bent reflective sign.

According to charging documents, the woman who called the sheriff’s office, answered a phone call later in the evening from Nordquist’s son. He asked to speak with her husband. When the husband took the phone to speak, Nordquist began speaking and told the couple, “You guys don’t know what you have coming.”

Nordquist is also facing multiple criminal charges in separate cases in Big Horn and Yellowstone Counties.

On Dec. 13, Nordquist was arrested for misdemeanor criminal trespass for failing to vacate the residence owned by the Hardin cemetery board. He was authorized to live in the residence until he was terminated from his position as cemetery groundskeeper, a position he held in addition to his duties as coroner.

Nordquist was also charged with misdemeanor criminal contempt for failing to follow the guidelines of his conditional release stemming from an April 2021 arrest for felony theft in Yellowstone County.

According to court documents in that case, Nordquist allegedly purchased two dirt bikes and an all-terrain vehicle despite knowing the items were stolen then reportedly attempted to sell them back to the original owner.

Nordquist faces up to 40 years in the Montana State Prison and/or a fine of not more $50,000 for felony attempted aggravated burglary; up to 10 years in the Montana State Prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for felony theft; up to six months in the Big Horn County Jail and/or by a fine of not $500 for misdemeanor criminal trespass; up to six months in the Big Horn County Jail and/or by a fine of not $500 for misdemeanor criminal contempt.

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