SDFL Historical Notable Cases
Candance Rough Surface, 18, of Kenel disappeared Aug 2, 1980. A Rancher found her bullet-ridden body nine months later in a shallow grave on Lake Oahe, near Mobridge, SD. The case was solved in 1995 when James Stroh II of Eagle River, Wis, told how he and his cousin, Nicholas Scherr of Mobridge raped and killed Rough Surface. Firearm evidence from the scene was forensically linked to the recovered suspect weapon from Scherr. Stroh pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years. Scherr also pleaded guilty and is serving a 100 year prison term.
David Rose, 25, of Sturgis was found dead at a picnic area north of Deadwood August 2, 1982, from blows to the head with a rock. Investigators lifted a fingerprint from his car door but it turned up nothing until 2003 when an AFIS check of the print tied it to Fred Bates of Quincy, IL. In addition, Forensic DNA testing provided a match between Bates and a cigarette butt found at the murder scene. Bates pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 years in prison, with 25 years suspended.
Huron native Heath Wyane Styer, missing 13 years, was found using state of the art sonar equipment. Styer, 25, disappeared from Huron, South Dakota on June 26, 1995. Searches in Ravine Lake were unsuccessful due to the murky waters. In July 2008, the DCI Cold Case Unit, Huron PD and Beadle Co SO conducted another search of Ravine Lake with new state of the art Side Scan Sonar equipment provided by SD Game, Fish and Parks. Styer’s car was found in Ravine Lake with a body inside. Through DNA testing the body was later identified as Heath Wayne Styer. There was no indication of foul play. Authorities believe Styer accidentally drove into the lake on the night of his disappearance.
Sexual Sadist Robert LeRoy Anderson was convicted in May of 1997 of kidnapping Piper Streyle from her home in the presence of her two small children in July of 1996. Streyle’s husband recalled a balding man in his twenties visiting their home days before the kidnapping; this man was later identified as Robert Anderson. Witnesses reporting seeing a black truck in the vicinity of the Streyle home on the day the woman went missing. It was later determined that Anderson had used black Temper paint to attempt to disguise his blue Ford Bronco during the kidnapping. Later, Ballistics, DNA, Physical Match, Protective Coating and Fiber and Hair examinations conducted by the SD Forensic Laboratory assisted in the investigation of this missing person’s case, including analysis of blood found on the suspect’s pants determined to be the victim Streyle. Her remains and a child’s tent missing from her residence have never been located.
Investigation in the Streyle case led authorities to the missing person cold case of Larisa Dumansky, who in 1991 had moved from the Ukraine to South Dakota with her family. She was reported missing in 1994. Informants and new investigation eventually led to a shallow unmarked grave which Anderson alleged he had removed Dumansky’s body to another site. Excavation found 57 items related to Larisa which included a tooth, a rib, the bones from the left and right wrist, several fingers, etc. Near the grave a pair of work gloves, shell casings and bullets were also located. Information provided by Anderson to an informant, while incarcerated, provided the location of the trophies he had collected from both women – Stryle’s wedding ring and Dumansky’s necklace – as well as the weapon used by Anderson. This weapon matched the bullets/casings found at the site of Dumansky’s first grave, and bullet removed from the floor of Streyle’s home.
In September of 1997, Anderson was charged with murdering Larisa Dumansky and with the rape and murder of Piper Streyle. He was ultimately convicted of all charges and sentenced to death by lethal injection. Anderson committed suicide in 2003 at the SD State Penitentiary while awaiting the outcome of his appeal.
Anderson’s friend, Glen Walker, was charged for his crimes in March 2000. He pled guilty to the attempted kidnapping of Amy Anderson, accessory to kidnapping and first-degree murder and conspiracy to kidnap Larisa Dumansky. He received a total of 30 consecutive years behind bars at the South Dakota State Penitentiary.
On April 20, 2011, Mitchell Police reported a man who pleaded guilty in what authorities labeled a "crime spree" in the Mitchell area is heading to prison.
Randy Wolford was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison on five business burglary charges in Davison County and one charge in Aurora County. He also was ordered to pay about $80,000 in restitution. DNA analysis of evidence collected at various crime scenes identified Wolford as a suspect in these crimes.
Wolford said in court that gambling, alcohol and drug problems led him to commit the crimes.
May, 2011: A second jury has convicted former Highmore Police Chief Ken Huber of murder in the death of his wife, Pamela. He was convicted of murder by a jury in 2008, but that verdict was overturned by the state Supreme Court, saying the former Highmore police chief had not been allowed to fully argue his case that the shooting was accidental. Therefore, he was granted a new trial. However, a jury in Huron returned the guilty verdict Tuesday after less than four hours.
Huber, a law enforcement officer with specialized military and law enforcement weapons instructional training, had argued that his .40 cal Glock pistol accidentally fired and struck Pam Huber while he was moving it from a bedroom dresser to a gun safe. The victim was stuck in the forehead as she lay on the bed with her daughter watching television. SDFL Firearms Criminalist testified on a variety of firearms examination results, to include Functionality, Trigger Pull, Point of Aim and Crime Scene Reconstruction. Digital Evidence Analysts examined several computers used by the suspect and victim in this case, and prosecutors reviewed hundreds of emails written between the victim, suspect, and other women in Ken Huber’s life leading to a turmoiled marriage.