Police discover dead body in back seat of car after high-speed chase

A high-speed pursuit in South Dakota ended with a grim discovery when police found the body of a dead woman wrapped in a blanket in the back of the SUV they were chasing.

The incident was outlined by a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper in a court affidavit filed on Tuesday. The Associated Press reports that the vehicle was first spotted going 100 mph on I-90 near Spearfish and hit a top observed speed of 118 mph as the driver tried to avoid being pulled over.


The chase covered approximately 45 miles and reached speeds of up to 118 mph before police brought the SUV Lommen was driving to a stop.

Some 45 miles later outside Rapid City, police laid a spike strip in the road ahead of the car, which caused it to come to a stop in a ditch. The driver, Tosten Walsh Lommen, 30, of Santa Cruz, Calif., ran from the scene but was quickly apprehended as he tried to climb over a fence.

Police found a beer growler and prescription drugs in the car, and a breath test determined that Lommen had a blood alcohol level of .142, which is well above the state’s legal limit of .08. A search of the vehicle, which did not belong to Lommen, then turned up the body. Authorities have not revealed the cause of death or the identity of the deceased.

Lommen has not yet been charged with any crimes connecting him to the death as the investigation continues, but is being held in Pennington County Jail with a bond set at $2.5 million. 

Keloland News reports that Lommen had previously faced DUI charges in California and had a restraining order filed against him in 2015 by a woman — not the same woman, however, listed as owner of the SUV he was driving in the South Dakota incident.

Sources tell Newscenter1 that the vehicle belonged to Lommen's mother, with whom he lived in Palm Springs, Calif., according to public records.

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor. Follow him on Twitter @garygastelu