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Remains found in Watertown cold case excavation sent to state lab

Crews dig up a well as part of an effort to find the body of Pamela Dunn, who disappeared in...
Crews dig up a well as part of an effort to find the body of Pamela Dunn, who disappeared in 2001.(Dakota Radio Group)
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 11:59 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Investigators say remains found during an excavation connected to a cold case in Watertown have been sent to a forensic lab for analysis.

Crews dug up a well on a rural property east of Watertown Wednesday in an attempt to find the remains of Pamela Dunn, who has been missing since 2001.

Pamela Dunn
Pamela Dunn(South Dakota Dept. of Criminal Investigation)

The Deuel County Sheriff’s Office said the excavation was complete by about 5 p.m. Wednesday. Sheriff Cory Borg said the well went down about 21 feet. Crews dug down to a depth of 29 feet.

Borg said investigators found remains in the depth between 25 feet and 29 feet. However, many were identified as animal remains. All remains were sent to the South Dakota Forensic Lab to determine if any are human.

Dunn went missing from Watertown in December of 2001. Her ex-boyfriend, David Asmussen, is serving a life sentence in prison after he was convicted of kidnapping her. However, prosecutors say no homicide charges have been filed because a body was never found.

“Law enforcement will continue the investigation into the disappearance of Pamela Dunn until she is found and can bring the family closure,” Borg said in a press release.

Authorities previously said they began searching the well, located about 20 miles east of Watertown, and about 10 miles north of Clear Lake, after they received a tip back in 2017.

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