Sisseton Family Discovers Dead Body At Walmart

"We will never get that sight out of our minds"

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The family that discovered a dead body Friday night and called police was passing through Sioux Falls, driving from Sisseton to eastern Iowa for a family reunion.

“We were driving two vehicles and my mom and grandma and cousin were in the other one,” says Nick Heinecke.

What started off as a much anticipated trip, took an unexpected turn.

“We’ll never get that sight out of our minds, ever,” says Nick.

Two hours into their 8.5 hour long journey, the Heinceke family needed to stop at the Walmart off of Louise Avenue.

“My cousin needed to get a phone card,” explains Nick.

Siblings Nick, Paige and Hayden decided to sit and wait, parking away from the store on the east side, near one other car.

“Five, ten minutes or so passed and my sister Paige noticed the smell,” says Nick.

“We kind of just ignored it, we thought there was road kill around, or something,” adds Paige Heinecke.

But as the time passed, the family says the stench got worse.

“Finally I sat up and I looked over, I said ‘oh my god, I think that’s a body right there’,” says Paige.

“It looked like a blanket was over it, I guess you could say,” says Nick. “There were black and white spots.”

It wasn’t until their cousin came out of the store and looked inside the window, until the three figured out what they were seeing.

The Heinecke’s quickly called 9-1-1.

“Within ten minutes there were five police cars there, firefighters and an ambulance,” explains Nick.

They say even the law enforcement officers weren’t immune to the smell.

“You could see a couple officers walked up to the car like nothing and you could tell they smelled it and saw it, because they got big scared faces, and backed up,” explains Paige.

Living in a town of 2,500, the Sisseton family is not only surprised they were the ones to find the dead body, but that it took more than a week to do so.

“There’s people walking through the parking lot and numerous cars driving through there daily, and people who work there getting shopping carts and stuff, you’d think somebody would have noticed it,” says Nick.

While it was a scary situation, the family says they’re glad they came across the car and the man, otherwise, they don’t know how long his body would’ve been there.

Original story:

Police are waiting on the autopsy report of the body found in the Walmart parking lot Friday night. Police say the body could have been there for nearly a week before he was found. Officials say the death does not seem to be suspicious at this time and is considered to be a sudden death incident. The man not yet identified is believed to be in his 30s and was found in a white 2011 Honda CR-Z. He was found on Friday July 7th around 9:20 p.m. at the Walmart located at 3209 S. Louise Avenue.

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