Police are currently investigating the unattended deaths of two individuals located in the area of the I-190 bridge at Exit 1C.
Police were called to the area at around 10:15 a.m. on February 4th for a report of a prone subject that was observed by a passerby. On arrival, police located a male subject lying on his back. On contact, the male was unresponsive, and police determined he was deceased. He is identified as 58-year-old Ernie Evans of Rapid City.
A second individual was also located lying up against a tree to the west of the bridge. This female was also determined to be deceased. She is identified as 54-year-old Connie Red Nest of Rapid City.
During the course of the investigation, law enforcement has found no signs of trauma or other foul play to either of the two individuals. Autopsies have been scheduled to more accurately determine the cause of their deaths.
“Every time we respond to an incident like this, it’s a tragedy for our community,” says Chief of Police Karl Jegeris. “Our agency has now investigated the unattended deaths of four members of our homeless population amid this winter’s cold temperatures. All have been either near downtown or along the city’s greenway area.”
The RCPD joins the Rapid City Mayor’s Office in its commitment to working toward long-term solutions that will have a direct impact on the safety of our city’s homeless population.
“These deaths are a tragic reminder of the impact of homelessness on our community,” says Mayor Steve Allender. “It also underscores the importance of the work and commitment of Rapid City Collective Impact and the call to action by all of us to address this problem and develop workable solutions in a strategic and effective manner.”
This incident remains an open and active investigation.