September 23, 2020

Homicide investigation underway after remains located in the Black Hills

Police have located the remains of 22-year-old Dakota Zaiser. The remains were located in a forested area near Sheridan Lake on September 22nd

Zaiser was reported to have disappeared in the days following the August 24th shooting at Thompson Park that took the lives of two people. In the time since, police had been searching for him in order to talk to him about his association with 36-year-old Arnson Absolu of Bronx, NY at the time of the shooting. 

Earlier this month, Absolu was located in New York City. He was subsequently placed under arrest for the homicides of Charles Red Willow and Ashley Nagy in relation to the August 24th shooting. He remains in custody in New York. The shooting does not appear random in nature, and preliminary evidence has given reason to explore a potential drug connection in relation to this incident.

Information developed in the ongoing investigation into Zaiser’s disappearance led law enforcement to search a forested area north of Sheridan Lake. During the search of this location, Zaiser’s remains were located in a manner consistent with an attempt to conceal his body.

An autopsy has been conducted, however, further forensic testing will be needed in order to determine a cause and manner of death in the investigation.

Absolu has been identified as the primary suspect in Zaiser’s death. Anyone who has information about Zaiser’s whereabouts on August 24th, or his interactions with Absolu immediately following the shootings at Thompson Park, is encouraged to contact the Rapid City Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division at 394-4134.

This is an open and active investigation being conducted in conjunction with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. Further updates about the investigation will be issued as appropriate.

* The charges are merely accusations and the arrested individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Any additional details regarding this case can be obtained from the Pennington County State’s Attorney and/or court records as appropriate

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