DEUEL COUNTY, SD -
Authorities are asking for the public's help after discovering the remains of two full-term fetuses in a rural Deuel County tree grove.
The remains were found November 2 but details are starting to come out now because several tests have been done to determine that the discovery was in fact human remains.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says those test results list what was found as two full-term fetuses capable of surviving outside the womb. Authorities are unclear about if the babies were born and in what state they were born.
The Deuel County Sheriff's Office has been working with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation since the discovery was made.
"The agencies are working close enough together to where hopefully we get an answer in not too long a time," Deuel County Sheriff Dave Solem said.
The report sent to the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office said the remains were in a state of severe decomposition. One of the bodies was inside a cooler in the tree grove; a second set of remains were found outside the cooler. Jackley considers the case a homicide investigation.
The Deuel County Sheriff says that a hunter found the remains.
"It's not a heavily populated county really, but we're hoping somebody has seen something, or somebody may have overheard somebody saying something. Anything that will help us," Solem said.
Solem says something else that complicates the investigation is that the site where the remains were found is near Astoria, in the far southeastern corner of the county.
"It's within a half mile of the Minnesota border. We're approximately six miles north of the Brookings County line. We've got 650 square miles here in the county and we're asking for the public's help," Solem said.
Jackley says they are asking anyone with knowledge about this case, even doctors who could know someone pre or post pregnancy, to call the Division of Criminal Investigation at 605 882-5238 ext. 7 or the Deuel County Sheriff’s Office at 605-874-8213.
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