Hill City Man Arrested In 8 Year Old Homicide Case

Longtime Custer Resident Charged
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 12:44 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Nearly eight years after the badly decomposed body of a woman was found off Iron Mountain Road in the Black Hills, police arrested a Hill City man for murder. Richard Melvin Schmitz was arrested at his home near Hill City this morning. The 53 year old is a long-time Custer resident charged with second degree murder in the death of Meshell Will.

Eight years ago, August 24, 2013, Will was last seen alive in Keystone. Originally from Wisconsin, she had only been in Custer for about six months. A week later, August 31, 2013, a female body was found, badly decomposed off Iron Mountain Road, near mile marker 54 and the Pig Tail Bridge. Police later identified the body as Will. Schmitz has remained a person of interest in the investigation of the 38 year old woman.

“We never gave up on the Meshell Will case,” says Sheriff Kevin Thom. “After eight years of hard work, we’re pleased to finally arrest the person we believe is responsible for the crime. We never stopped conducting interviews, examining evidence and reviewing forensic material.”

Participating in this joint investigation are the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Rapid City Police Department, Division of Criminal Investigation and Custer County Sheriff’s Office.

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