“Dag-nabit,” the Wisconsin farmer said when he noticed tire tracks and a trail of broken stalks. He was chopping corn fifty feet in from the edge of his field Sunday morning when he came across an SUV full of Minnesota bodies. That’s when he stopped and called the Sheriff. The autopsies are already in, but more than one troubling mystery remains.
Four adult bodies
Officials have identified the four bodies recovered and “everyone is a suspect at this point,” declared Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd at a press conference Tuesday.
A brother of one victim suggests that he has “an idea who did it.” You can’t blame the Sheriff for playing it close to the vest. This is an important case. The field is a long way from where they were last seen alive. About 65 miles.
Autopsies on the bodies of all four victims revealed the obvious cause of death as gunshot wounds. Deceased are 30-year-old Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley of Stillwater, and her “close friend” Jasmine Christine Sturm of the same age, from Saint Paul. Matthew Isiah Pettus, age 26 and 35-year-old Loyace Foreman III, also from St. Paul, were half brothers. Foreman was dating Ms. Sturm.
“This is a freak thing that never should have happened,” Zach Pettus relates. “We knew something was wrong when [Sturm] didn’t respond to our messages. We have an idea who did it, but I don’t know if I should say something now.”
Before they were murdered, they had been out partying Saturday night. When their friends and family waved goodbye they never expected them to end up dead in a corn field. The FBI is assisting on the investigation which will likely involve both states if the murder is determined to have happened in Minnesota, where they all lived.
The remote cornfield in Wisconsin seems like nothing more than a randomly convenient spot to dump the bodies but that raises even more questions. The killer would have had a long walk out unless he made arrangements ahead of time.
This is a first
Sheriff Bygd admits this is a new one for him. “It’s highly unusual for this area. Obviously we’ve had homicides in the last several years, but something of this magnitude? [I’m] working on my 33rd year working for Dunn County, and this is a first.”
The bodies have no apparent connection to where they were found. “We can’t find any connection to this area other than possibly randomly driving out of the Twin Cities.” And abandoning the car full of victims.
The night before the bodies were discovered, the group had been “together at a bar in St. Paul.” Flug-Presley’s dad says “they left with someone just hours before turning up dead.”
According to Damone Presley Sr., “the group had left the bar together and gotten into somebody else’s vehicle.” That’s it. “That is the mystery. Hopefully, through the investigation we’ll get that answered. The whole thing just doesn’t make sense.” Several children were left without parents.
Another thing that does not make sense is that the vehicle they drove off in is not the one found full of bodies in the field. They aren’t saying much but what the Sheriff did say has everyone curious.
Between local and federal authorities, they “believe the people responsible for the killing left the scene in another vehicle, which is believed to be a dark-colored SUV.” They have reason not to believe the killer was from the area.