Four people were found murdered in an abandoned SUV hidden in a Wisconsin cornfield on Sunday, authorities said.
The two women and two men were found shot dead in a Black SUV with Minnesota plates that had been driven into the cornfield off a rural road in Sheridan Township, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office said.
None of the four victims – all of whom came from Minnesota — had any personal connection to the area, Sheriff Kevin Bygd said in a Monday press briefing.
“We can’t find any connection to this area other than possibly randomly driving from the Twin Cities,” Bygd told reporters.
Sheridan is about 70 miles outside of St. Paul.
The bodies were found after a 911 call at 2:18 p.m. of passengers in the SUV who weren’t moving, the sheriff said. They had been there fewer than 24 hours, according to Bygd.
The sheriff’s office doesn’t think the quadruple murder was tied to organized crime. There was no immediate evidence that the killings were motivated by drugs or involved in the drug trade, the sheriff said.
Among the victims were 26-year-old Matthew Pettus and sister Jasime Sturm, 30, The Star Tribune reported. Sturm’s boyfriend Loyace Foreman III, 35 and Sturm’s friend Nitosha Flug-Presley, 30, were also killed, according to the Tribune.
The sheriff’s office confirmed the identities and relationships in the news conference.
Autopsies on the victims showed gunshot wounds as the preliminary cause of death, authorities said. The sheriff didn’t say how many times the victims had been shot or where in the car they were seated, but officials are investigating if the killer or killers left in a second SUV.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of these victims,” Bygd said in a statement. “I wish we could release more details of our investigation but we have to balance the public’s desire to know the details with running the risk of harming our investigation and losing evidence for building a good homicide case.”
Pettus’ brother Zach told the Tribune his family had an idea who killed the four “but I don’t know if I should say something now.”
The murders shook acquaintances of the victims.
“Unfortunately, all four paid the price, and we don’t know for what,” friend Elizabeth Brown told the Tribune. “To drop them off in a cornfield, what kind of person are you?”