- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Court documents unsealed Friday reveal details about why three search warrants were granted in 2004 at the boyhood home of a man once charged with the 1971 disappearance of two Vermillion High School girls.

A judge on May 30 granted a request from Attorney General Marty Jackley to release the 48 pages but without the names of nine reported victims of sexual assault. Jackley, who argued the documents should be made public because the criminal case was closed, released them Friday.

The affidavits supported searches at the farm near Alcester where David Lykken, 59, grew up. Authorities said at the time that Lykken might have been involved in the disappearance of 17-year-olds Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson as well as other unnamed people.

Jackley said in April that Miller and Jackson died when their Studebaker drove off a gravel road and landed in a creek. The car and their remains were found last fall, miles from Lykken’s home place.

Investigators searched the Lykken farm in 2004 and collected bones, clothing, a red purse, a Bible, camera, photographs, newspaper clippings, two chrome-plated hubcaps and other items, according to court documents. Authorities didn’t indicate if any of it was connected to the girls until April when they said the items taken would be returned the Lykken family.

A Union County grand jury in 2007 indicted Lykken on six murder counts, but state prosecutors later dropped all charges after concluding a jailhouse informant lied about Lykken admitting to killing the girls.

Lykken’s mother and brother earlier sued six investigators for $400,000, arguing they caused significant damage during the searches and falsely accused the family of not cooperating. But a federal appeals court in 2010 agreed with a lower court’s ruling that investigators didn’t violate the Lykken family’s constitutional rights during the searches.

Lykken was sentenced in 1991 to 225 years in prison for breaking into a former girlfriend’s house in Vermillion and raping her repeatedly over four hours in front of her children.

He argued unsuccessfully against the document release on grounds he was 16 at the time and his privacy was protected as a juvenile. Lykken represented himself at the May 30 hearing. The Department of Corrections said he could not be made available for comment Friday because it did not fall within the department’s policies.

The three affidavits released Friday, though heavily redacted, describe allegations against Lykken that he sexually assaulted nine girls or women from 1977 to 1990, including the one for whose attack he’s in prison. It also includes investigator reports of witness statements, including one who said she recalled seeing a lifeless Miller and Jackson in the Studebaker on the Lykken family farm. The report does not include any juvenile records, since those remain sealed.

“The search warrant contains serious allegations involving nine separate victims and a further look at why law enforcement should have been searching for two missing girls,” Jackley said in a statement.


Contact Carson Walker at https://twitter.com/carsonjw

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