December 23 news

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - Arraignment has been set for a Spirit Lake man accused of killing a Jackson woman. Arraignment for 21-year-old Tailer Handsaker is set for 9:30 a.m. December 30th in Dickinson County District Court.

Handsaker was charged with 1st degree murder in the death of 36-year-old Sarah Renee Grimmius of Jackson. The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office says Grimmius was deceased when deputies arrived at 1 28th Street of rural Spirit Lake around 10:30 p.m. December 8th. Court documents say the death may have occurred already a couple of days prior to the discovery of Grimmius’ body.

Handsaker remains in the Dickinson county jail on a $500,000 bond.

WORTHINGTON – Two Worthington man were arrested last week after a report of a juvenile runaway led to a drug bust. Michael Nguyen, 21, and Jay Syhavong, 18, are facing charges of fifth-degree controlled substance possession, meth-related crimes in the presence of a child and contempt of court. Syhavong is also charged with introducing contraband into the Nobles County Jail.

The complaint states agents from the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force were assisting with attempts to locate a female runaway from Shakopee. They went to an apartment building on Worthington to look for the juvenile and saw Syhavong driving Nguyen’s vehicle. Syhavong’s probation officer had been trying to locate him for a urine sample, so he was taken to the Prairie Justice Center. He told authorities Nguyen was at the Travelodge with the missing girl.

At the hotel room, agents found the girl, Nguyen, and small amounts of methamphetamine. Marijuana was located in the girl’s purse. At the jail, authorities found a flashlight in Syhavong’s possession that contained more meth. Both men, who were under conditions of release in an unrelated case, tested positive for meth. Both were under court order to not possess or use mood altering drugs, and Syhavong was on house arrest.

WORTHINGTON – A warrant was issued last week for the arrest of a St. Paul man and woman who were allegedly involved in the theft of more than $2,000 in baby formula from the Worthington Walmart after a Minnesota State Trooper dropped them off at the store. Curtis Watson, 34, and Deanna Pugh, 23, are currently in custody in another jurisdiction and are wanted for shoplifting in other areas.

The complaint states Walmart Asset Protection contacted authorities in September regarding the theft of baby formula. Surveillance photo showed four people loading formula into a gray tote and two suitcases, then leaving the store without paying. Authorities received reports of the same thing happening at a Walmart in New Ulm.

The criminal complaint states the trooper had stopped a vehicle with four people inside on Highway 59 north of Worthington. None of the people in the vehicle had a valid driver’s license, so the trooper gave them a ride to the Walmart store.

During the course of the investigation, police learned a similar theft had taken place in Spirit Lake, Iowa, with suspects in custody. Watson was questioned and denied having been in Worthington, but changed his story and admitted he had been given a ticket and a ride to the Walmart.

WORTHINGTON – A former Worthington man is scheduled to make an initial appearance in Nobles County District Court Tuesday on charges of burglary, property damage and trespassing. Marshall Bejarano, 27, of Granite Falls, was arrested December 13 after the Worthington Police Department conducted an investigation regarding an alleged break-in at a Worthington business.

The complaint states authorities were notified of an alarm going off at Graham Tire the evening of December 8. An unlocked door, broken window and shoe prints were found. Police following the tracks found they led through several buildings in the city, including a private garage, an apartment building and several business lots. Surveillance video from Graham Tire showed the suspect wore a black sweatshirt with white letters. Another business, Jaycox Implement, reported prints circling their business, and surveillance video showed the same male suspect.

Video from Castlewood Apartments showed the same person, identified as Bejarano, in the same outfit and entering the building, then leaving again. Bejarano is currently on supervised release from the Minnesota Department of Corrections and had an active arrest warrant.

He has an extensive criminal history with numerous arrests and convictions stemming from burglary and thefts from businesses.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Authorities say one person was hospitalized for burns after a Sioux Falls apartment fire Saturday night. The fire at the three-story structure was reported at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. Official say crews found smoke and flames coming from the first floor of three-story structure. Crews evacuated the building and had the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The apartment building did not have a sprinkler system.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA - A 15-year-old girl was found dead in the back of a car at a western Iowa shopping center this weekend. One of the girl's friends called paramedics around 10 a.m. Saturday, but Mireya Mata-Alvarez was already deceased.

Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers says Mata-Alvarez had been out with two girls and five boys most of the night. Meyers says it appears the juveniles had been drinking alcohol and possibly using marijuana. No arrests were made, but the Pottawattamie County Attorney will review the case to determine whether to charge any of the people who were with the girl.

SHELDON, Iowa — Sheldon fire fighters were called to the report of a fire Sunday afternoon in the office of the Sunset Motel on old Highway 60 at 1401 South second Avenue. The Sanborn Fire Department was called for mutual aid.

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Too bad

Its such a shame that even infant formulas are being stolen. - Paul Kadri

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