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The FBI was called in to help local authorities in rural Wisconsin after four young friends from Minnesota were found murdered and left “to chance” in an abandoned SUV in a cornfield.
Authorities in Dunn County, Wisconsin, where the quadruple homicide victims were discovered on Sunday, have made no secret that they were baffled by the crime.
“It’s very unusual for this region. Obviously we’ve had homicides in the last few years, but something of this magnitude …[I’m] working on my 33rd year working for Dunn County, and this is a first, ”Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd said at a press conference Tuesday night.
Perhaps most perplexed, the victims have been identified as longtime friends of the Twin Cities area, none of whom apparently had any connection to the Wisconsin area where they were found.
“We can’t find any connection to this area other than maybe by randomly exiting the Twin Cities,” Bygd said.
The victims, Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley, 30, Jasmine Christine Sturm, 30, Matthew Isiah Pettus, 26, and Loyace Foreman III, 35, all died of gunshot wounds, police said. . They were reportedly killed less than 24 hours before being found by a farmer on Sunday morning.
Flug-Presley and Sturm are described as close friends; Pettus would have been Sturm’s half-brother, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Foreman was her boyfriend.
“It’s a weird thing that should never have happened,” said Zach Pettus, Matthew Pettus’ brother and Sturm’s half-brother. Star Tribune. He said he saw no reason why anyone in the group of longtime friends would be targeted.
“We knew something was wrong when [Sturm] did not respond to our messages, ”he said. “We have an idea of who did it, but I don’t know if I need to say something now.”
Sturm and Foreman leave behind five children. Pettus had a 3 year old daughter and Flug-Presley also leaves behind two young children.
The group were reportedly together at a bar in St. Paul on Saturday night, located about 65 miles from where they would be found the next day. But they left with someone just hours before they were found dead, according to Flug-Presley’s father.
Damone Presley Sr. told the Twin Cities Pioneer press the group had left the bar together and got into someone else’s vehicle.
But he said he didn’t know more than that.
“It’s the mystery,” he told the newspaper. “I hope that through the investigation we will have an answer,” he said, adding that it all “just doesn’t make sense.”
Police have yet to name any suspects or reveal details of a possible motive, with Bygd going so far as to admit Tuesday that even the motive is “a mystery” to investigators at this point.
Authorities said, however, that they did not believe the quadruple homicide was linked to drug-related or organized crime activities.
The FBI Field Office in Minneapolis is helping the Sheriff’s Office investigate the grisly murders, and it could turn into a joint investigation if the murders are found to have been committed in Minnesota, a spokesperson said from FBI to Pioneer press.
For now, according to Bygd, investigators are starting to scrutinize everyone the group of friends knew.
“Everyone is suspect at this point,” he said.
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