Authorities searching area near I-29 for evidence in deadly abduction

Local News

Authorities are looking at potential evidence they collected along Interstate 29 for an abduction case that led to a death investigation. Police say Amir Beaudion Jr. is a person of interest in 20-year-old Pasqalina Badi’s disappearance and death. Beaudion was in court Wednesday for a separate attempted kidnapping. Bond is set at $250,000 for Beaudoin in that case. He’s accused of trying to kidnap a woman in a Hy-Vee parking lot on New Year’s Day.

A few days later, authorities arrested him and listed him as a person of interest in Badi case. However, they said the two don’t know each other. On Monday authorities found Badi dead in a ditch in rural Lincoln County, south of Sioux Falls. Badi was last seen early Sunday morning, January 5. She was leaving work at the eastside Walmart. According to court papers, surveillance video shows a man following her to her car, getting in with her, and driving away. Another employee identified him as Beaudion. Beaudion returned to the eastside Walmart two hours later and left in a stolen car. Two hours after that, officers found Badi’s car parked a few blocks away from where she was abducted. It was on fire, and authorities believe it could be arson.

Officers arrested Beaudion on Monday. Investigators also believe he’s tied to a similar report from the East 10th Street Hy-Vee. A woman says he tried to get in her car with her, said he had a knife, and threatened to kill her. He eventually ran away.

Court papers say Beaudion admits he got in her car, but says the woman’s English wasn’t very good and that he was asking her for a ride. He says a pocket knife fell out of his pants, and denies threatening her.

On Wednesday, authorities were searching an area near I-29, past the 41st Street bridge. Police confirm investigators are searching the area for any evidence in Badi’s case. At one point, an investigator kneels to the ground, picks something up, and puts it into an envelope. Court papers say authorities had traced Badi’s cell phone to this same area.

Interim Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Crystal Johnson requested the high cash bond for Beaudion, and said it was “based on additional information from yesterday afternoon.” She didn’t elaborate on what that means. Prosecutors filed charges against Beaudion for first degree attempted kidnapping and aggravated assault charges in the Hy-Vee case. As of now, he’s not facing any charges for Badi’s disappearance and death. Authorities believe the two cases could be connected.

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