Attorney General Jackley, Davison County State’s Attorney Announce Update In Mitchell Truck Stop Case

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and Davison County State’s Attorney Jim Miskimins have announced that based on a further review of the evidence, including the forensic pathologist autopsy results, the appropriate charge in South Dakota is Improper Disposal of a Body in connection with a female that was found deceased March 11, 2024 in Mitchell.

Anthony Harris, 60, of Detroit, MI had been charged with Second-Degree Murder and Improper Disposal of a Body in the death of Melody Fae Gooch (Goo-ch), 57, of Detroit, MI. Her body was discovered at the Mitchell I-90 Travel Center. Harris was detained in Washington State and later extradited back to South Dakota. As set forth in the affidavit of probable cause based on collected evidence, Harris was charged with both Second-Degree Murder and/or Improper Disposal of a Body in the death of Ms. Gooch.

The final autopsy report, which was received Wednesday, indicates that the cause of death was an accidental drug overdose, and that the death did not occur in South Dakota. The autopsy specifically lists cause of death to be combined drug toxicity due to Buprenorphine, Fentanyl, and Cocaine, and that the manner of death to be accidental.

The final autopsy report further indicates that the blunt force injuries sustained by Ms. Gooch when she was run over at the truck stop did not occur while she was alive. Additional evidence did not indicate that Ms. Gooch was alive in South Dakota.

Prosecutors Friday afternoon filed a dismissal of the Second-Degree Murder charge in Davison County Circuit Court. Harris remains charged with Improper Disposal of a Body in South Dakota. Michigan state officials will now determine if he will face additional charges in that state.

Attorney General Jackley and State’s Attorney Miskimins want to thank the different local and state agencies who were involved in this investigation.

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