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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Attorney General Jackley Announces Anthony Harris Convicted And Sentenced For Improper Disposal of a Body in Mitchell Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 19, 2024

Contact: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has announced that a Detroit, MI man has been sentenced to 360 days in the Davison County Jail for pleading guilty to the improper disposal of a body in connection with a female who was found deceased March 11, 2024 in Mitchell.

Anthony Harris, 60, Friday pled guilty and was then sentenced in Davison County Circuit Court.

Harris was initially charged with both 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 to face charges. 

The final autopsy report indicated that the cause of death was an accidental drug overdose, and that the death did not occur in South Dakota. The final autopsy report further indicated 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. The State therefore proceeded on the Improper Disposal of a Body charge in the death of Melody Gooch.

Harris also was ordered to pay both autopsy and extradition costs, the towing bill for the truck he was driving when he was detained, and funeral costs for Melody Gooch.

Michigan state officials will now determine if Harris will face additional charges in that state.

Several different local and state agencies were involved in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office and the Davison County State’s Attorney’s Office.