South Dakota man guilty of killing, dismembering girlfriend

Associated Press

Pierre, S.D. – A South Dakota jury convicted a man Tuesday of killing his girlfriend and dumping her dismembered body in a river in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula last year.

Jurors in Pierre found 45-year-old Stephen R. Falkenberg guilty of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder in the March 1 death of 46-year-old Tamara LaFramboise.

Falkenberg is scheduled to be sentenced March 2. He faces life and prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

Prosecutors said Falkenberg killed LaFramboise in Yankton, South Dakota, where they both lived, then drove to Menominee County, Michigan, where he grew up. Authorities said he discarded LaFramboise’s body in the Little River, where two boys found it March 16.

LaFramboise’s nude torso was found in the Little River in Michigan’s Menominee Township, near Falkenberg’s family farm weeks later. Her head and hands had been removed and are still missing.

Prosecutors said in court documents that Falkenberg told his sister he argued with LaFramboise, pushed her and she hit her head and died.

The victim’s mother, who reported LaFramboise missing March 5, told investigators her daughter had a turbulent, “on-again, off-again” relationship with Falkenberg.