Sioux Falls man arrested on murder charge after body found in ditch

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 10:46 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Authorities say they have arrested a suspect who killed a man and burned his body in a ditch near Brandon, then kidnapped and sexually assaulted a woman.

Forty-eight-year-old Lamont Dion Walker of Sioux Falls faces several charges, including first-degree murder, according to Capt. Josh Phillips of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s office.

Deputies found the body of a man while responding to a ditch fire Saturday morning on a township road east of Brandon. On Monday, Phillips identified the victim as 22-year-old Saivaughn Carlstrom of Sioux Falls.

Phillips said Walker was arrested Sunday on first-degree murder, kidnapping, and rape charges.

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said the rape charge was in connection to a second victim in the case. An arrest affidavit identified the second victim as a 20-year-old Sioux Falls woman who knew Carlstrom.

Court documents reveal details in case

According to court documents, a deputy noticed a fire in ditch about one mile east of Brandon just after 5 a.m. Saturday. When he stopped to investigate, he found a body lying in the ditch on fire. There were several items nearby, including a knife, a marijuana grinder, and a $100 bill.

Authorities found a body in a burning ditch near Brandon Saturday morning.
Authorities found a body in a burning ditch near Brandon Saturday morning.(Dakota News Now)

More investigators soon arrived at the scene, and were able to identify the burnt body as Carlstrom. They found signs of a struggle on the road nearby. They also found items connected to the second victim in the case.

Investigators were able to connect both victims to a house on the 1500 block of E. 5th Street eastern Sioux Falls. Detectives interviewed two residents of that house, who said both victims had stopped by Friday evening. They showered, ate, then left around 10 p.m. One witness said both victims were acting “fishy” and not normal.

Detectives attempted to track down the second victim Saturday by tracking her cell phone, but it had been disconnected.

Court documents state investigators received two tips Sunday suggesting the second victim was at a house on E. 15th Street, a couple blocks north of Cleveland Elementary School in eastern Sioux Falls. In both cases, acquaintances of the second victim told police she had sent them messages through social media indicating she was being held against her will. One message said the second victim feared she was going to be sold into sex trafficking; the other said she was going to be taken to Atlanta.

In addition, a woman called 911 at 8 a.m. Sunday and said “please help me.” The dispatcher heard shuffling in the background, then the call disconnected. Authorities determined the call came from Carlstrom’s phone.

The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office and the Sioux Falls Police Department executed a search warrant at the home on E. 15th street later Sunday. They found both the second victim and Walker at the residence.

Detectives interviewed the second victim, according to court documents. She said Lamont drove her and Carlstrom around Sioux Falls Friday night into Saturday morning, during which time the group attempted to commit at least one robbery. Lamont then drove them out to a gravel road, where he forced Carlstrom out of the car. The two got into a fight, during which Lamont severely beat Carlstrom with a spiked wooden object. The arrest affidavit did not say what sparked the altercation.

At some point, Lamont forced Carlstrom into the ditch. Court document say Lamont shot Carlstrom twice in the head. He then dumped a bag of items onto Carlstrom’s body and lit it on fire.

The second victim told detectives Lamont got back into the car and drove them to the residence at E. 15th Street, which she said housed a marijuana grow operation. She said Lamont forcibly raped her on two separate occasions while she was being held at the house.

During the search of the home, detectives found a car registered to Lamont parked in the garage. Authorities say they found a “substantial amount” of suspected blood in it. They also found a wooden club with a branch protruding, wrapped in an electrical cord, which also had blood on it.

The investigation remains ongoing

Milstead said Monday said investigators were able to quickly track the suspect down thanks the cooperation of several different law enforcement involved in the case. However, he said authorities are still hoping to learn more details about the case. He asked anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers at 605-367-7007.

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