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Investigators probe whether drugs were involved in bodies found in Wisconsin cornfield


Investigators are probing whether drugs were involved in the murder of four friends from St. Paul whose bodies were found inside an SUV that was dumped in a cornfield about an hour away in Wisconsin

Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd said investigators believe the victims ‘were randomly brought to’ the Town of Sheridan and that someone intentionally drove the SUV with the bodies into the tall corn.

The victims were identified as Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley, 30, from the St. Paul suburb of Stillwater; and Matthew Isiah Pettus, 26; Loyace Foreman III, 35, and Jasmine Christine Sturm, 30, all three from Saint Paul, Minnesota

A farmer discovered the bodies on Sunday afternoon in the field about 65 miles east of St. Paul. All four had been shot dead.  

Bygd said that motive in the case remains a mystery, and that all possibilities are under investigation, including the involvement of personal acquaintances, organized crime, or a drug connection. 

He said as yet there was no preliminary evidence of drugs as a motive, but that ‘it very well could be, and that’s going to be discovered through our investigation.’

Matthew Pettus, Sturm's half-brother

Victims Jasmine Sturm (left) and Matthew Pettus (right) were half-siblings, and worked together at Shamrocks Irish bar and grill in St. Paul

Loyace Foreman III

Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley

Victim Loyace Foreman III (left) was Sturm’s boyfriend, while Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley (right) was a friend of Sturm

Sturm and Pettus both worked at this Irish bar and restaurant in St Paul, a family member said

Sturm and Pettus both worked at this Irish bar and restaurant in St Paul, a family member said

The victims, who included two bartenders at the Irish bar Shamrocks, had last been seen out drinking together in St. Paul on Saturday night, before leaving together in an unknown vehicle. 

Bygd said that there was no connection between the victims and the area where their bodies were found, and that investigators suspect the killers did not a have a local connection either.

‘We can’t find any connection to this area, other than possibly randomly driving out of the Twin Cities,’ the sheriff said.

Investigators believe the killer or killers brought a second vehicle to the dump site, and used it to escape. Police are seeking information about a possible second dark-colored SUV that may have been involved. 

Investigators remain tight-lipped about many aspects of the case, and Bygd refused to answer many key questions, including ownership information for the SUV the bodies were found in, and the position of the bodies in the vehicle. 

However, audio from a police scanner obtained by the station KSTP revealed that none of the victims were in the driver’s seat.  

Deputies are seen walking through the field in search of clues as part of the homicide investigation on Tuesday

Deputies are seen walking through the field in search of clues as part of the homicide investigation on Tuesday 

The crime scene is located in the town of Sheridan in Dunn County, Wisconsin, located about 65 miles east of Minneapolis

The crime scene is located in the town of Sheridan in Dunn County, Wisconsin, located about 65 miles east of Minneapolis 

The victims Sturm and Pettus were half-siblings, while Flug-Presley was Sturm’s friend and Foreman was Sturm’s boyfriend, investigators said.

Sturm was a longtime server at Shamrocks bar and restaurant in St. Paul, where her brother Pettus, the youngest victim, was also a bartender, a family member said.  

Autopsies that were performed on Monday by Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that all four victims died from gunshot wounds. 

Plug-Presley’s father, Damone Presley Sr., told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the four victims were at a St. Paul bar on Saturday night and they got in someone’s vehicle when they left.

‘Why would this happen?’ he said on Tuesday. ‘… It just doesn’t make sense.’ 

Loyace Foreman III was the son of Loyace Foreman Jr, senior pastor at New Vision Faith Center in Saint Paul.   

Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd said investigators believe the bodies 'were randomly brought to' the Town of Sheridan and that someone intentionally drove the SUV into the tall corn

Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd said investigators believe the bodies ‘were randomly brought to’ the Town of Sheridan and that someone intentionally drove the SUV into the tall corn

‘He was stolen from us,’ Loyace’s mother, Jessica, wrote in a post. ‘And we will find the thief. If it takes my very last breath. We will not rest. Loyace PulzeRazr Foreman III was my Prince.’ 

According to recent social media posts, the 35-year-old Foreman III had two children and was in a romantic relationship with Jessica Sturm. 

He worked as a demolition contractor and enjoyed drawing in his free time.  

‘He was a doting uncle to his four nieces and nephews,’ Jessica Foreman told Twin Cities. ‘He was the protector of his three sisters. He was not perfect and we loved him unconditionally. He left an unfillable void.’

Sturm, who worked a second job as a paralegal at a law firm, and was raising her two sons, ages 11 and 5. The youngest boy had just celebrated his birthday last month.  

Mourners online described Strum and Nitosha Flug-Presley as very close friends. 

‘There was never a time where i would see 1 without the other,’ a mutual friend wrote. ‘Y’all were literally inseparable and to think we lost y’all together don’t even sit right.’ 

Bygd said that there was no connection between the victims and the area where their bodies were found, and that investigators suspect the killers did not a have a local connection either

Bygd said that there was no connection between the victims and the area where their bodies were found, and that investigators suspect the killers did not a have a local connection either 

Flug-Presley leaves behind a young son and daughter. 

‘She was an outgoing person, a very good mother, exceptional daughter,’ Presley’s father said. ‘She was very vibrant, she had a good heart, someone who would lift up your spirits.’ 

Pettus’ brother, Zach Pettus, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he has ‘an idea who did it,’ referring to the homicides, but he declined to go into further detail. 

‘This is a freak thing that never should have happened,’ Zach Pettus said. ‘There is nothing that indicated this would have happened.’ 

Authorities believe the four Twin Cities-area residents died less than 24 hours from the time they were found and the location ‘was a place these victims were randomly brought,’ Bygd said.

‘Everybody’s a suspect at this point,’ he said. ‘We’re looking at everybody and every possibility.’

No arrests have been announced as of Thursday. The investigation continues.  



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