South Dakota drowning victim’s ID discovered after 46-years

A 46-year old South Dakota cold case has been solved.

The body of a deceased male found in the Missouri River near Pierre in August of 1976 has been identified.

Attorney General Marty Jackley says an autopsy had been conducted which resulted in a probable cause of death by drowning and there was no further evidence of foul play. The man’s identity remained unknown and he was buried in Pierre as “unknown man.”

The case was reopened in 2020 by Pierre Police Department Detective Trevor Swanson and a permit was obtained from a judge to exhume the remains. In 2021, the remains were disinterred and samples were collected for a DNA profile.

That profile was compared to results found in genealogy databases which resulted in a potential match for 39-year-old Stephen Earl Boice, whose last known address was Seattle, Washington. The ID was confirmed with partial fingerprints obtained in 1976.

Boice’s closest living relatives were notified and the man’s remains were reinterred at Riverside Cemetery in Pierre, this time with a headstone bearing his name.


May 11, 2023