Angela Armstrong and Nima Sherpa both went missing from their Sioux Falls, South Dakota, homes within the first two weeks of June. Both were also recently found dead by vehicles, very near their homes.
Armstrong, a 45-year-old mother of three, disappeared on June 3 and was found June 23 in a nearby garage. Her identity was confirmed by an autopsy, but police are still awaiting toxicology results before announcing a cause of death.
Sherpa, 48, was reported missing by his family on June 14, KELO reported. His body was found on July 2 in what police described as a “rarely used vehicle” near his home.
Here’s what you need to know:
Police Said a Child Discovered Sherpa’s Body Inside a ‘Rarely Used’ Vehicle, Covered by a Black Sled, Across the Street From His Home
Police and the community were searching for Sherpa since June 14 when he “just wandered away and didn’t come back,” Sioux Falls Police Spokesman Sam Clemens said at a news conference.
Thursday afternoon, a neighborhood child peeked inside a parked vehicle just across the street from Sherpa’s home, near North Rochelle Place, and noticed his body lying under a black sled — the sort used for hauling fishing equipment across ice, according to Clemens.
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The owner of the vehicle hadn’t used it in some time and had even mowed beside it recently, Clemens told reporters. Detectives also walked by the car “numerous times” while searching sheds in the area, but the sled in the backseat made it difficult to spot Sherpa’s body.
“It’s really frustrating to know he was found that close to where he lived, and that so many people walked past it and didn’t see him,” Clemens said. “Without the sled, he would have been found relatively soon. It’s just that combination of circumstances.”
Police are classifying Sherpa’s death as unattended, pending autopsy results.
Heavy was unable to locate family, public records or an obituary notice for Sherpa on Tuesday. Police indicated that he was unemployed at the time, the Argus Leader reported.
This Makes 2 Missing People Who Turned Up Dead Very Close To Their Homes in a Month, But Police Say Armstrong & Sherpa’s Cases Are Not Connected
Armstrong was also discovered very close to her home, next to her vehicle in a neighbor’s garage, Heavy reported last month.
At a news conference Monday, Clemens said that police are still waiting for toxicology results on Armstrong’s body. There were no obvious signs of trauma on either Armstrong or Sherpa, police said.
Reporters at Monday’s news conference told Clemens that locals were puzzled about the two people who went missing around the same time and were found dead in such similar circumstances.
Clemens, however, said that the two cases were “completely isolated from each other.” He declined to share more details about the circumstances in which Sherpa and Armstrong’s bodies were found.
“The only thing in common was the time frame,” he said.
In the wake of the two high-profile Sioux Falls disappearances, a local commented on the police department’s Facebook page, asking whether police should use the Child Abduction Response Team as an additional resource to hopefully find missing adults sooner.
“If a branch of our law enforcement agency specializes in finding missing and abducted children, why not also use them for adult missing persons?” said South Dakotan Levi Edwards. “To my knowledge we’ve never had to dispatch our CART team (which is a good thing), but why not broaden the service they provide? Dogs would have immediately located Angela and most likely would’ve been able to find Sherpa by now, too.”
A department spokesperson said that the CART is specific to children and comprised of law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions.