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Sisseton man pleads guilty in 1992 cold case

A Sisseton man has pleaded guilty to a voluntary manslaughter charge in a 30-year-old cold case.

It stems from a death in Roberts County back in 1992, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of South Dakota.

Investigators said Jay Adams Jr., now 57, struck a minor on her head, fatally injuring her. Adams denied involvement at the time, saying he didn’t know how she was hurt.

New evidence came to light this year that implicates Adams, authorities said.

“Cold cases are not closed cases in the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Alison J. Ramsdell, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota. “As this tragic case demonstrates, no matter how long it takes, we remain committed to working alongside our law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice. It is our hope that this work offers some measure of closure to victims’ families and helps honor the sacred memory of missing and murdered Indigenous persons.”

The Department of Justice’s newly created Missing or Murdered Indigenous Person’s regional outreach program aided the investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The investigation was conducted by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribal Police Department and the FBI.

Adams faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.