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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Preliminary Autopsy Results Released in Platte Fire
PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today the preliminary autopsy results have been released in connection to the house fire that occurred in Platte, S.D. on Thursday, September 17, 2015. Preliminary autopsy reports indicate that cause and manner of death for Nicole, Kailey, Jaeci, Connor and Michael Westerhuis were homicide by shotgun wounds. Cause of death for Scott Westerhuis was shotgun wound with manner of death as suspected suicide based on the current investigation findings.

“We have experienced the tragic loss of an entire family including young children that has affected an entire community. Based on evidence of foul play continuing to be uncovered, law enforcement remains committed to a complete and thorough investigation,” said Jackley.

“We at the Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office express our deepest sorrow to the families involved and to the Platte community,” said Charles Mix County Sheriff Randy Thaler.

The Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation continue their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the manner of death of Scott Westerhuis, including interviews, evidence collection and forensic testing.