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24-year-old man found in ditch off South Dakota highway, duo accused of murder

year old man found in ditch off highway in south dakota two men charged in murder
Source: Pennington County Sheriff’s Office

Nov. 5 2021, Published 1:17 p.m. ET

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A 24-year-old man was found in a ditch off a South Dakota highway and now police say two men have been arrested in connection to his murder.

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Around 7 a.m. on Nov. 1, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said a passerby called to report a body lying in the ditch off Highway 16.

The body was identified as Dhani I. Aronson, 24, and an autopsy determined the manner of death to be homicide, police said.

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An investigation by the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, the Rapid City Police Department and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation linked the death of Aronson to 29-year-old Andrew Thorson and 25-year-old Jacob Staton, officials said.

Thorson was accused of killing Aronson by shooting him in the head, the Rapid City Journal reported. Staton has been accused of being at the scene during the cleanup of the murder scene and helping to dispose of Aronson’s body.

Both men were arrested on Nov. 1, as Thorson was charged with second-degree murder and was booked into the Pennington County Jail on a $1 million cash-only bond, the Rapid City Journal stated.

Staton was charged with accessory to murder and booked into the Pennington County Jail on a $500,000 bond, officials said.

In a press release, Cpt. Tony Harrison said, “We’re pleased at how quickly the investigators were able to put the pieces together and make arrests in this murder case. Good team work and inter-agency collaboration allowed us to locate the suspects within about 12 hours of discovering the victim. We’re not done combing through the details. More charges could be pending.”


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