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Woman found dead following pursuit was homicide victim

January 8, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s attorney general says an autopsy confirms the death of a California woman found in the back seat of an SUV following an interstate chase is a homicide.

Marty Jackley said Monday that preliminary results show 58-year-old Michelle Walsh died from head and neck injuries. Her body was discovered after Highway Patrol troopers chased and stopped the SUV driven by her son, 30-year-old Tosten Walsh Lommen. He’s facing charges of eluding authorities and drunken driving, but has not been charged with his mother’s death.

The Highway Patrol says the New Year’s Day pursuit on Interstate 90 from Spearfish to Rapid City, about 50 miles (80 kilometers), reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. Officers used spike strips on the roadway to disable the SUV and arrest Lommen.

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