Body Found In Menominee River Identified, Arrest MadeIssue Date: March 21, 2019
On Saturday, March 16 the remains of an unidentified woman were found in the Little River tributary to the Menominee River in Menominee County, Mich. The head and hands were severed and have not yet been located.
By Monday, March 18, the body had been identified as that of 46-year-old Tamara LaFramboise, of Yankton, South Dakota, and the person suspected of killing her and disposing of her body had been arrested and lodged in the Yankton County Jail on a charge of second degree murder.
The suspect is former Menominee County resident Stephen Robert Falkenberg, 45, also of Yankton, who was arrested in Sioux Falls by the Minnehaha County Fugitive Task Force Monday afternoon.
LaFramboise had last been seen at her apartment in Yankton, South Dakota on Friday, March 1, and was officially reported missing on Tuesday, March 5.
Falkenberg was arrested at the home of a woman in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Monday, March 18.
According to KSFY News in Yankton, S. D., court documents say that Falkenberg admitted to a Sioux Falls woman that he got into an altercation with LaFromboise at her home. He admitted that he pushed LaFromboise against the wall and that she was dead, but didn't go into any detail about how she died. The report quotes court documents in which a woman, who is not identified by name, told investigators that "Falkenberg told her he put LaFromboise's body near their family farm in Michigan and had dismembered the body because he did not want her to be identified."
A report in Keloland News in South Dakota says Falkenberg's daughter told told authorities he told her he thought LaFramboise had been cheating on him, they argued, she came at him with a bat, he pushed her, she hit head, died. He then drove the body to Menominee.
Falkenberg is to make an initial court appearance in Yankton on Wednesday, March 20.
According to the KSFY News report, police in Yankton had forwarded a missing person flier of LaFromboise to the Menominee, Michigan Police Department on March 7. After the body was discovered police in Yankton were advised by Michigan authorities that they were investigating a body that was found in a creek outside of Menominee.
The KSFY report goes on: "Documents say that the head, hands, and feet had been removed from the body, were not with the body, and have not been located at this time. However, several tattoos were visible.
"A list of LaFromboise's tattoos were obtained from a recent Yankton County Jail booking and the tattoos were consistent with the body that was pulled from the water in Michigan."
The KSFY report states that according to court documents, the woman says Falkenberg told her he put LaFromboise's body near their family farm in Michigan and "dismembered LaFromboise because he did not want her to be identified."
Menominee County Sheriff Kenny Marks issued the first news release in the case shortly after the body was discovered at about 11 a.m. on Saturday, and said additional information would be released when it was deemed not to compromise the ongoing investigation by his office, Michigan State Police and the Michigan State Police Crime Lab.
Later, because of the information supplied by Menominee County, the Yankton authorities were able to arrest Falkenberg.
According to the reports, Falkenberg has been a frequent visitor to the Menominee area because of family ties. The body was found in a rural area of Menominee Township, about 1.4 miles from a home owned by Falkenberg's step-brother in Little River, a 35-mile long tributary to the Menominee River.
Sheriff Marks, in conjunction with the Menominee County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, scheduled a press conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 20 to share more details of the investigation.
Menominee County Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police, the Michigan State Crime Lab, Yankton County Sheriff's Office, the FBI, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation continue to investigate the case.
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