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

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Investigators are investigating whether drugs were involved in the murder of four friends from St. Paul whose bodies were found in 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 taken to the town of Sheridan” and that someone deliberately drove the SUV containing the bodies into the tall corn.

The victims were identified as Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley, 30, of the St. Paul, Stillwater suburb; 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 Sunday afternoon in a field about 100 kilometers east of St. Paul. All four had been shot.

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

He said there was no preliminary evidence of drugs as a motive, but that “it could very well be, and that will be discovered by our investigation.”

Matthew Pettus, Sturm .'s half brother

Victims Jasmine Sturm (left) and Matthew Pettus (right) were half-siblings who 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 friend, while Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley (right) was Sturm’s friend

Sturm and Pettus both worked in this Irish bar and restaurant in St Paul, said a relative?

Sturm and Pettus both worked in this Irish bar and restaurant in St Paul, said a relative?

The victims, including two bartenders at Irish bar Shamrocks, were last seen together in St. Paul on Saturday night, before taking off together in an unidentified vehicle.

Bygd said there was no connection between the victims and the area where their bodies were found, and investigators suspect the killers had no local connection either.

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

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

Investigators are silent on many aspects of the case, and Bygd declined to answer many key questions, including ownership information for the SUV in which the bodies were found, and the position of the bodies in the vehicle.

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

Officers walk through the field on Tuesday looking for clues as part of the murder investigation

Officers walk through the field on Tuesday looking for clues as part of the murder investigation

The crime scene is in the town of Sheridan in Dunn County, Wisconsin, about 105 miles east of Minneapolis

The crime scene is in the town of Sheridan in Dunn County, Wisconsin, about 105 miles east of Minneapolis

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

Sturm was a longtime clerk at Shamrock’s bar and restaurant in St. Paul, where her brother Pettus, the youngest victim, was also a bartender, a relative said.

Autopsies conducted Monday by the 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 in a St. Paul bar on Saturday night and got into someone’s vehicle as they left.

“Why would this happen?” he said 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

Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd said investigators believe the bodies were “randomly brought to the city of Sheridan” and that someone deliberately drove the SUV into the tall corn

“It was stolen from us,” Loyace’s mother, Jessica, wrote in a message. “And we’ll find the thief. When it takes my last breath. We will not rest. Loyace Pulze Razr Foreman III was my prince.’

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

He worked as a demolition contractor and liked to draw in his spare time.

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

Sturm, who had a second job as a legal assistant at a law firm, 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 when I would see one without the other,” wrote one mutual friend. “You were literally inseparable and to think we’ve lost all of you isn’t even right.”

Bygd said there was no connection between the victims and the area where their bodies were found, and investigators suspect the killers had no local connection either.

Bygd said there was no connection between the victims and the area where their bodies were found, and investigators suspect the killers had no local connection either.

Flug-Presley leaves behind a young son and daughter.

“She was an outgoing person, a very good mother, an exceptional daughter,” said Presley’s father. “She was very lively, she had a good heart, someone who cheered you up.”

Pettus’ brother, Zach Pettus, told the… Minneapolis Star Tribune that he “has an idea who did it,” referring to the murders, but he declined to go into further detail.

“This is something bizarre that should never have happened,” Zach Pettus said. “There’s nothing to indicate this would have happened.”

Authorities believe the four residents of the Twin Cities area died less than 24 hours from the time they were found and that the site was “a place these victims were taken at random,” Bygd said.

“Everyone is a suspect right now,” he said. “We’re looking at everyone and every opportunity.”

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

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