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Body Found at Fairgrounds



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A Sioux Falls man is dead and police are calling it a possible homicide. Sheriff's investigators were called to the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds around 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. A worker found the body on a young man inside a locked car. KDLT’s Melissa Payne has more.

The fairground parking lot is empty now, but a full crime scene investigation was underway after the body of 19 year old Michael James Stevens was found in his car. Police believe the car was parked at the fairgrounds for at least three days.
Investigating officers will not comment on the injuries or obvious wounds sustained, but they believe Stevens’ death was inflicted by someone else.

Sheriff Mike Milstead says, “The autopsy won't be able to be completed for a couple days but we're at least at the point where we're comfortable in believing this is a homicide, an intentional act against him.”

A worker found Stevens’ body slumped over in his car, parked near the Expo Building. Workers saw the car there for several days, but didn't think anything of it.

Trygve Fredrickson says, “We on occasion will get some derelict vehicles, so after the weekend we noticed we had one of those. One of our maintenance staff, walked over to check it out, and he noticed what might be a person, slumped over in the front.”

No blame is being placed on the fairgrounds staff, and after financial troubles and administration issues this past year, the current management hopes this incident will not have any further impact on the fairgrounds.

Milstead says, “We didn't really need anymore bad news out there, that's what I thought, I’m being somewhat selfish but also thoughts to family members.”

The investigation is in its early stages, and the departments working the case are still trying to piece together the evidence.

Milstead says, “There's significant resources dedicated to this investigation, and will be until we find a resolution.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's department at 367-4300 or CrimeStoppers at 367-7007. People can leave anonymous tips at CrimeStoppers. A possible reward may be given for information in this case.
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