Estherville, Iowa — Authorities say they have found shell casings, projectiles, and a firearm that may have been used in the murder of 19-year-old Thomas Bortvit in Estherville.
Emmet County Sheriff Mike Martens reports that a multi-agency investigation by the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office, Estherville Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is taking place. He says the Iowa Office of State Medical Examiner in Ankeny has released their preliminary report. They say that the manner of death of Thomas Bortvit has been ruled to be a homicide.
Sheriff Martens also advises that search warrants have been carried out in regard to the investigation. During the searches, shell casings, projectiles and a firearm believed to have been used in the homicide of Bortvit were recovered.
These items have been forwarded to Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Criminalistics Laboratory for analysis, according to Sheriff Martens. He says that the suspect charged in connection with the homicide, 18-year-old Lee Samuel Christensen of Estherville remains in custody in the Hennepin County, Minnesota Jail.
The Sheriff says Christensen has waived extradition to Emmet County and is expected to be returned to Emmet County in the near future.
Orange City, Iowa — Orange City Police are asking for help in solving a rash of vandalism incidents that happened sometime during the overnight hours of Tuesday, June 9th into Wednesday, June 10th.
Orange City Police say that at least 10 vehicles had their windows smashed all around Orange City in the incident, and they ask that anyone with information on these crimes contact the Orange City Police Department at 712-707-4251.
Sibley, IA — A George man backed into a Sibley woman’s vehicle on Sunday, June 7th.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 8:00 pm on June 7th, Tanner Nagel of George was backing a Buick Regal from a driveway in Sibley. According to the report, Nagel struck a legally parked Chevy Impala belonging to Karen Jansen of Sibley.
The Impala received $1000 damage. The Buick received $1800 damage.
Nagel was cited for Failure to have insurance and Unsafe Backing.
Sioux Center, IA — A Sioux Center woman was rear ended by a South Dakota woman on Monday, June 8th near Sioux Center.
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 3:16 pm, 33-year-old Abby Van Zee of Sioux Center was driving southbound on Garfield Avenue in a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban, about two miles west of Sioux Center. Forty-four-year-old Judy Hooyer of Hudson, SD was driving a 2014 Cadillac XTS southbound on Garfield Avenue behind Van Zee. According to the report, Van Zee stopped for the stop sign at 390th Street and Hooyer struck Van Zee.
The Suburban received $500 damage. The Cadillac received $8000 damage.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota — Five men, including two northwest Iowans, have been indicted and are now facing charges following an undercover sex trafficking operation in South Dakota.
The South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted an online operation to identify people who attempt to buy sex acts with children. Five people were indicted, including a couple of men from northwest Iowa; 27-year-old Nathanuel Downs of Sioux City and 29-year-old Lance Hunter, Jr. of Little Rock. Both men have pleaded not guilty to attempted commercial sex trafficking in federal court in South Dakota. The crime carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. South Dakota authorities announced the arrests in mid-April.
The other men facing charges in the case are 26-year-old Jose Oxlaj of Guatemala, and 25-year-old Benjamin Iverson and 29-year-old Scott Larson, both of Sioux Falls.
Two Orange City residents’ vehicles were damaged in an accident on Monday, June 8th.
According to the Orange City Police Department, 84-year-old Norma Tvedte of Orange City was backing up a 2008 Toyota. Twenty-four-year-old Brittany Van Wyk of Alton was driving a 2009 Ford Escape in the traffic lane of the parking lot. According to the report, Tvedte backed out of the parking spot and struck Van Wyk’s Ford.
Tvedte’s Toyota received $2000 damage; Van Wyk’s Ford received $1200 damage.