South Dakota inmate charged in decades-old case

2007-07-03T23:00:00Z South Dakota inmate charged in decades-old caseThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 03, 2007 11:00 pm  • 

SIOUX FALLS - A man serving a 227-year prison sentence for rape and kidnapping has been arrested on charges of killing two teenage girls from Vermillion more than 35 years ago.

David L. Lykken, 52, was indicted by a Union County Grand Jury Friday on two counts of premeditated murder, two counts of felony murder and two counts of murder, according to the indictment.

Lykken was arrested Monday at the South Dakota penitentiary in Sioux Falls, where he has been incarcerated since 1990 for an unrelated rape conviction in Clay County.

The new indictment charges that Lykken killed Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson on or about May 29, 1971 in Union County.

The 17-year-old Vermillion High School juniors were last seen that day driving a Studebaker Lark on rural Union County road on their way to a party.

The felony murder counts involve killing during commission of another felony. One count accuses Lykken of killing Miller while raping her. The other accuses him of killing Jackson while committing felony kidnapping, according to the indictment.

The decades-old case was revived in 2004 when the state Attorney General's Office created a Cold Case Unit, bringing current and former law enforcement officers and other experts together to direct new resources at unsolved crimes.

The unit's investigation took detectives to a Union County farm southwest of Alcester, which was Lykken's childhood home.

Searches have yielded, among other items, bones, clothing, a red purse, Bible, camera, photographs, newspaper clippings, two chrome-plated hubcaps and a 1968 South Dakota license plate, according to court documents.

Lykken was imprisoned in 1991 after breaking into a former girlfriend's house and raping her repeatedly over a four-hour period in 1990. His convictions and sentences on those charges were upheld in 1992 and again in 1997 by the South Dakota Supreme Court.

Lykken's arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Monday, July 9, at the Union County Courthouse in Elk Point.

The case was jointly investigated by the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Union County Sheriffs Office and the Cold Case Unit of the Attorney General's Office.

Assistant Attorney General Rod Oswald and Union County States Attorney Jerry Miller will serve as prosecutors.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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