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Authorities in Pierre identify body found along Missouri River

PIERRE, S.D. – Authorities investigating the discovery of a body found along the Missouri River in Pierre Monday have learned the name of the woman found just off the Lewis and Clark Trail just east of the Down’s Marina Peninsula.

“We were able to identify the body as that of 40 year-old Lola Bear Stops of Pierre and we were able to make that identification through a fingerprint analysis that we sent to the South Dakota State Forensic Lab here in Pierre.”

Pierre Police Captain Bryan Walz says the fingerprints were obtained by officers at the autopsy being performed on Bear Stops. He says the cause and manner of death may take time to learn.

“Generally speaking the autopsy report can take anywhere between six to eight weeks to come back. The investigation will continue, following up leads officers have been receiving from our Crime Tips Line.”

Walz says now that investigators have a name they can try to narrow the focus on what may have happened.

“Now that we have identified her, we’ll be able to contact family and friends in order to determine when she was last seen; if there was anyone she was last seen with and continue on in our investigation in that manner.”

Bear Stops was found approximately 250 yards east of the Down’s Marina Peninsula by a person walking their dog along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Walz says he’s not sure if the identification of the body as Bear Stops will lead to an increase in calls to the Pierre Police Department Crime Tips Line. He says approximately 14 calls have been received so far, however some of the calls may have been made in relation to missing bodies being investigated in Sioux Falls and Montana. The Pierre Police Department Crime Tips Line number is 605-773-7420. Anyone who may have information about Bear Stop’s death is asked to call the Tip Line.

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