MILWAUKEE – Four people found killed in an abandoned SUV in a cornfield in western Wisconsin had been shot and were all from Minnesota, authorities have said in a case they described as a mystery.
Preliminary results of autopsies carried out Monday by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office showed the two men and two women all died of gunshot wounds, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office said.
Investigators believe the four Minnesota residents who were found in rural Dunn County, Wisconsin, had no connection to the area and neither did the suspects.
Sheridan is approximately 70 miles northeast of St. Paul. The SUV was driven 50 meters into a cornfield and abandoned, Bygd said.
Few details have been released so far on the deaths, which are being investigated as homicides.
Someone called emergency dispatchers around 2:15 p.m. Sunday to report that people inside an SUV in a cornfield were not moving.
Authorities believe the four residents of the Twin Cities area died within 24 hours of their discovery and that the location “was a place where these victims were taken at random,” Bygd said.
“Everyone is suspect at this point,” he said. “We are looking at everyone and all the possibilities. “
When asked about a motive, Bygd said investigators provided advice and questioned acquaintances but did not yet have answers.
“That one is a mystery. We don’t know of a motive yet,” he said.
Investigators don’t believe the case is linked to organized crime, and Bygd said he had no indication the murders were drug-related.
Bygd also said he had “a very high degree of certainty” that suspects left the area in a vehicle. He did not believe the suspects were local residents as none of the victims had any ties to Dunn County, he said.
The victims were identified as Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley, 30, Matthew Isiah Pettus, 26, Loyace Foreman III, 35, and Jasmine Christine Sturm, 30.
Pettus was Sturm’s half-brother, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Foreman was Sturm’s boyfriend and Flug-Presley was his close friend.
Sturm and Foreman were raising five children together, Pettus’ brother told the Star Tribune. Pettus had posted photos on Facebook with his young daughter, and it appears Flug-Presley had two young children.
Dunn County investigators are examining possible reports of a second dark-colored SUV that may have been involved.
The sheriff’s office works with several agencies and reviews security footage and traffic cameras, Bygd said.
Bygd said he had never seen a quadruple homicide in Dunn County before.
“It’s very unusual for this area. Obviously we’ve had homicides over the last few years, but something of this magnitude – (I’m working) my 33rd year working for Dunn County, and it’s is a first. “
Contribution: The Associated Press
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