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SD Lawmaker's Case Closing



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The Minnehaha County Sheriff's office is in the process of closing an investigation involving a former South Dakota state senator who was found dead in his home.

Sioux falls Police officials confirmed 60-year-old Gilbert Koetzle was found deceased in his home Thursday night, from what appeared to be a suicide.

It all stemmed from an investigation linking Koetzle to possessing child pornography.

"The focus of the investigation is not around, is not alive," said Sheriff Mike Milstead.

Minnehaha County Sheriff, Mike Milstead, said his agency has been conducting Internet crimes against children task force investigation involving child pornography.

Officials served Koetzle a search warrent at his home and work Wednesday an on Thursday, Koetzle was found dead.

Dozens of items were seized ranging from computers, to storage devices and Koetzle's cell phone.

Investigators linked 23 images of child pornography to Koetzle's SkyDrive, a file hosting service that lets users upload and sync files to online "cloud" storage.

Some of the images involved young girls engaging in sexual acts with adult males.

"We have no indication that there was physical contact or direct contact with children in his situation," said Milstead.

Milstead stressed, the children in the pictures are "victims."

"In any case involving child pornography, there are victims and sometimes those victims are re-offended again and again and those are the children in those images," said Milstead.

Officials now will be releasing the evidence gathered in this case to other investigators at local levels and across state lines.

"Should there be any ties to any cases, should they have a similar case, should someone identify an individual," said Milstead.

With Koetzle dead, investigators and people who followed his political career are left with questions unanswered.

Koetzle served in the State Senate as well as the House of Representatives for a total of 16 years.
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