For the better part of a year, activists from all over the country descended upon North Dakota to stand with the standing rock sioux tribe and protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which, they claimed, would harm the environment.

As the chill February air turned their campsites into a frozen, uninhabitable wasteland, the protesters went home in defeat, but not before leaving behind more than 50 tons of garbage and toxic waste. The EPA is still involved in cleaning up the monumental mess the activists left in their wake, at a cost of over one million dollars.

The ongoing clean-up effort took a sad turn on April 9, however, when a dead body was discovered among the rubbish.

Activist had been missing since last November

On April 10, the Morton County Sheriff's Department issued a news release stating that the body, which was discovered in the Cannonball River amid a jumble of floating trash, has been identified as that of Damjan Nedelkovski. Nedelkovski, a 35-year-old Californian born in Macedonia, had last been seen on October 29, 2016. His stepbrother filed a missing person report on November 16, after Nedelkovski failed to return from the protest camps of North Dakota. According to the press release issued by the Morton County Sheriff's Department, an autopsy revealed no signs of trauma to the body and authorities have ruled out the possibility of foul play.

American Thinker, who reported on the finding of the activist's body on Tuesday, captured the sad irony of Nedelkovski's death, stating, "They left a fellow protester's dead body behind in a river but piously lectured the people of North Dakota about the horrors of the Dakota Access Pipeline polluting some lake."

Looking for clues in a 50-ton haystack of garbage

The Daily Caller reports that, in addition to the 50 tons of trash the activists left behind, the demonstrations also caused property damage in excess of $8 million dollars, with over 500 farmers reporting crop losses ranging from $15,000 to $20,000 each.

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Morton County officials have reported that 709 arrests were made at the Oceti and Sacred protest camps alone, with 94 percent of the arrested protesters being non-residents. Of these, 221 had prior criminal records. Police are still searching for clues among the rubbish that may hopefully explain how Nedelkovski died, and the Morton County Sheriff's Department is asking anyone with information about Nedelkovski to come forward.