• A South Dakota woman was found dead on the side of the road after she was abducted at a Sioux Falls Walmart
  • A person of interest has been identified and is in custody
  • The woman’s car was found burned up and police suspect arson

A Sioux Falls woman who was apparently abducted from a Walmart parking lot in the city over the weekend was found dead on the side of the road, authorities revealed.

The body of 20-year-old Pasqalina Esen Badi was found in rural Lincoln County on Monday afternoon following a missing-persons report being filed that morning, according to report from the Argus Leader.

Authorities have identified a person of interest and have taken him into custody. "We believe the main person involved has been identified," local police Lt. Terrance Matia said. "There is no danger to the public."

The man in custody is 19-year-old Amir Hasan Beaudion Jr., who is also a resident of Sioux Falls. Police were unable to establish a prior relationship between Badi and Beaudoin. But when they tracked the victim’s cell phone, they found that it stopped in a location near Beaudion's eastern Sioux Falls residence and near the location where Badi’s body was found.

Authorities are stressing that there may not necessarily be a connection to Badi’s abduction and her death. "It could be random," Matia said. “We don't know the relationships between everybody yet, who is involved or potentially who could be involved."

Surveillance cameras at the Walmart from which Badi was apparently abducted captured a man following Badi to her vehicle, then getting into the front passenger seat before it drove away. The car was found burned up several hours later. Authorities suspect arson. Police have offered little information regarding the condition of Badi’s remains and simply stated she was found with an abrasion to her face.

Sioux Falls and neighboring communities have been battling a marked uptick in violent crimes over the years. The Argus Leader reported that violent crimes in the city are up by over 80 percent since 2015. The number puts it on pace to be one of the fastest-growing cities for murder and other types of violent crimes. The surge in criminal activity corresponds with a nine percent poverty level.

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