SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – This year, KELOLAND News reported on three cold cases solved in the area.
The first was in March of this year when detectives solved the 1981 murder of Baby Andrew John Doe. Sioux Falls Police Detective Michael Webb turned to genealogy services after no matches turned up in the DNA database
The second was in June when Rapid City police solved the 1968 murder of Gwen Miller because of new DNA testing. The lead detective, Wayne Keith, reopened the cold case back in 2015. Keith thanked the Division of Criminal Investigation, the state crime lab and the California lab that did the DNA testing.
DNA evidence also led to a cold case arrest in May for the rape and murder of Audrey Hoellein Frasier in 1994. In 2018, Vancouver Police submitted the crime scene DNA to a company that used genetic genealogy to build a family tree.
But other cold cases still remain open. The oldest unsolved mystery dates back to 1943, when someone strangled army nurse Naomi Cheney. The main suspect in the case died in World War II.
One of the most recent ones is the death of Alicia Hummel. Hummel’s body was found close to a boat dock in Clay County on June 1, 2015. Authorities called her death a homicide. An autopsy showed that she died because she drowned. But she also had injuries on her head and a cut to her neck. Investigators still have no suspects.
In 1986, someone killed 92-year-old Clara Olson inside her central Sioux Falls apartment. In 1987, police told KELOLAND News they had a suspect, but they didn’t have enough evidence to make an arrest. More than three decades later, the case remains unsolved.
Pamela Halverson’s murder is also a cold case. Her father reported her missing in August of 1999, triggering an extensive search. Two days later, officers found her body in the trunk of her car.
Pamela Dunn has been missing since December of 2001. David Asmussen was her former boyfriend and sentenced to over three years in prison for stalking Dunn and breaking a protection order. Her body has not been found, and Asmussen has not been charged with causing her death.
It’s been six years since Rachel Cyriacks was last seen in Woonsocket in 2013. Her pickup was eventually found in Huron, and investigators determined that her disappearance was suspicious. While investigators have followed various leads, Cyriacks has yet to be found.
Another six-year-old cold case centers on Meshell Will. Will’s remains were discovered in Aug. 31, 2013 in Keystone. She was last seen a week prior. No arrests have been made in her case.
Ellabeth Lodemeier’s husband reported her missing in 1974. Authorities still haven’t found her body, but they’re investigating the crime as a murder. And in fact, authorities continued their search for Lodemeier’s body on Wednesday.