A South Dakota man has been accused of killing his girlfriend because he thought she was cheating on him, then dumping her dismembered body hundreds of miles away near his brother’s property.
Stephen Robert Falkenberg, 45, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder several weeks after Tamara LaFramboise went missing.
She was last seen around 2:15 p.m. on March 1 leaving a Yankton Walmart, where she purchased two bags of chips and an alarm clock, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.
Surveillance footage captured her getting into Falkenberg’s truck as she was leaving the retail store.
The victim’s mother, Mary LaFramboise, reported her daughter missing several days later on March 5 after becoming concerned that she hadn’t spoken with her daughter since the day of the shopping trip, according to the affidavit obtained by KELO-TV.
She told investigators LaFramboise and Falkenberg had a “very turbulent” relationship.
When investigators spoke with him on March 6, he claimed he hadn’t seen LaFramboise since they had coffee together at her apartment on the morning of March 1. He claimed they got into an argument and she told him to “get the f--k out.” However, Falkenberg, who was wearing a brace on one of his hands, eventually told investigators he'd picked her up from work later that day.
Surveillance footage shows his truck arriving at the Walmart right before LaFramboise is seen entering the store and leaving shortly after she exits, the affidavit said.
In a later conversation with his daughter, Falkenberg allegedly admitted that he and LaFramboise had fought and that he had pushed her into a wall after she had swung a bat at him, hitting him in the hand and injuring his fingers. He said she was dead after hitting the wall.
The altercation started after an argument where Falkenberg accused LaFramboise of cheating on him, court documents said.
Two boys would later discover LaFramboise’s body in Michigan while out walking their dog. They looked over the side of a bridge and saw a body missing its head, feet and hands, KSFY reports.
A Menominee Police officer recalled seeing a missing persons report from South Dakota and investigators were able to identify the body through several distinctive tattoos. The missing limbs have not yet been recovered.
The grisly discovery was made not far from where Falkenberg’s brother lived. Investigators allege that Falkenberg drove his girlfriend’s nude body to the bridge and tossed it over.
He is currently being held on a $1 million cash bond in Yankton County.
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