Local author of cold case books tackles 83 cases

Cold Cases

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — From shows like “Making a Murderer” to” Unsolved Mysteries” and podcasts such as “My Favorite Murder” and “Crime Junkie,” there is no doubt that being an armchair detective is a popular pastime.

During the month of June, as part of a joint effort with our digital team, KELOLAND Investigates is taking a deep dive into local cold cases. Some are decades-old missing persons cases; others are brutal murders that happened in the last few years.

In all of these cases, we are uncovering new information that may finally help break the cases wide open.

Author Chris Wevik is working on a two-book series on SD cold cases called Someone knows

We begin by introducing you to the local author of the upcoming two-book series, Someone Knows. Chris Wevik, of Beresford, is on a mission to document as many of South Dakota’s unsolved mysteries as she can.

“When you look at her, it just really tugs at your heart,” Wevik said.

For the last two years, Wevik has been compiling dozens of local unsolved missing and murder cases, such as that of Tammy Haas.

In 1992, the 19-year-old never returned home after a party, and her body was found in a nearby ravine.

Her boyfriend, Eric Stukel, was tried and acquitted for her murder. In April of this year, the FBI announced a $15,000 reward for information in her case.

“For some people like Nancy Haas, she just wants answers. She may never see justice,” Wevik said.

Wevik is hoping her upcoming book series, Someone Knows, will prompt renewed interest in 83 cold cases and perhaps even lead to some of the mysteries being solved.

“Just to get some light shining on these cases; just to make people aware of them and get people talking about them again,” Wevik said.

Ironically, it was a cold case that was solved 43 years after two young women disappeared that prompted Wevik to begin her research.

“We heard the story about Pamella Jackson and Cheryl Miller. It was kind of local folklore. Where are these two girls and how did two girls in a car disappear. And it was just so strange,” Wevik said.

The car was found submerged in a creek in 2014, and authorities now believe the girls died in that crash.

“And I think about Pamella Jackson’s dad who died–I think he was 102 and he died five days before their car was found. It’s just really sad all of those parents went to their grave never really knowing what happened to those girls,” Wevik said.

Wevik, who is a huge fan of true crime shows herself, understands the fascination and needing to know.

“Death is fascinating. Death is interesting. It’s compelling. People want to know what happened,” Wevik said.

On Tuesday at 10 p.m., we begin our first investigation into who killed Alicia Hummel near Vermillion on this day in 2015.

Hummel went to the Myron Grove boat dock along the Missouri River to fish, but was brutally murdered shortly after arriving.

We uncover evidence in the case that has never been made public before and find out what it will take to catch her killer.

“We see long-time cold cases are cleared off by DNA evidence. We hope maybe we’ll get a break like that,” Clay County Sheriff Andy Howe said.

KELOLAND Investigates Murder at Myron Grove Tuesday at 10.

If you have any information on a cold case you’d like included in Wevik’s book, you can email her at: cwevik@iw.net

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