GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- Police say they have interviewed a Montana prisoner about the disappearances of three women in North Dakota and Minnesota, and he remains a suspect in at least two of the cases.
Floyd Tapson, 41, insisted he had nothing to do with the three missing women, Detective Mike Sholes said. Tapson was interviewed for two days by Grand Forks police and took three polygraph exams, Sholes said.
Tapson is being held at Yellowstone County Correctional Center in Billings, Mont.
Sholes said he and a polygraph examiner asked Tapson about Kristi Nikle, 19, who disappeared in the Grand Forks area in 1996; Renae Lynn Nelson, Moorhead, Minn., 22, who disappeared in 1994 and was found dead in the Red River months later; and Carla Beth Anderson, 23, Wadena, Minn., who disappeared in 1987.
The Wadena Police Department no longer considers Tapson a suspect after the interview, but he remains a suspect in the other two cases, Sholes said.
Tapson has been considered a suspect in the three cases since he was arrested in Montana in 1998, Sholes said. In Montana, he is accused of abducting a developmentally disabled woman in Billings, raping her and shooting her twice. The woman survived.
Tapson was convicted of attempted murder in 1999, but the jury could not agree on rape and kidnapping charges.
He was serving a life sentence when the Montana Supreme Court threw out his conviction last year. He is being held on a $1 million bond as he waits for a new trial.
Sholes said Tapson had worked at group homes for the developmentally disabled in Grand Forks, Fargo and Crookston, Minn., and worked or lived near them when the three area women disappeared. All three were disabled.
Grand Forks police have been trying to interview Tapson since 1998. He declined when he was on bond at home in Hannah, in northeastern North Dakota.
"It's just been a wait game," Sholes said.
When Sholes learned Tapson faced a new trial this year, he said, he decided, "I'm not going to wait another four years"' to interview Tapson.
Sholes went to Montana for a seminar in June, and visited Tapson while he was there. He said he told Tapson that police would like to eliminate him as a suspect if he was not involved in the cases.
Tapson is "very intelligent, very polite and has been cooperative with the investigation," Sholes said.
The detective declined to release the results of the polygraph, as part of the agreement with Tapson to get the interview.
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