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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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Richard Benda Death Investigation Results Released


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :     Thursday, November 21, 2013
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605)773-3215   

Richard Benda Death Investigation Results Released

PIERRE, S.D  - Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the Division of Criminal Investigation has concluded its investigation into the death of Richard Benda, Sioux Falls.
On October 22, 2013, Benda was found dead in rural Charles Mix County by a family member, which was immediately reported to local law enforcement. The scene was secured by law enforcement at which time the Division of Criminal Investigation was contacted and asked to conduct a death investigation.

The autopsy, conducted by the Forensic Pathologist, Minnehaha County Coroner indicates that the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen and ruled a suicide. No physical or digital evidence has been found to indicate foul play.  The investigation scene reconstruction, interviews conducted, evidence collected at the scene and forensic testing do not indicate foul play and are consistent with the forensic autopsy findings. The forensic testing included, but was not limited to firearm functioning, ballistic testing, DNA and fingerprinting.

The Attorney General would like to thank the Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office and federal authorities for their assistance during the death investigation. The Attorney General again offers condolences to the family and friends of Richard Benda during this most difficult time and appreciates the public further respecting these private family matters. If you have any additional questions please contact Sara Rabern at 605-773-3215.