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Palm Springs mother identified in South Dakota suspicious death investigation

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Update 10:58 a.m.:

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Thursday the identity of the deceased female found in connection with the arrest of Lommen as 58-year-old Michelle Nanette Walsh of Palm Springs.

Palm Springs Police confirm Walsh is the mother of the man driving the vehicle in which her body was found in South Dakota.

An autopsy was conducted on January 3, 2017, and those results are still pending according to the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office.


Palm Springs Police are aiding a suspicious death investigation out of South Dakota.

Thirty-year-old Tosten Walsh Lommen of Santa Cruz, led deputies on high-speed pursuit on New Year’s Day on Interstate 90 near Spearfish, South Dakota, deputies said. Lommen reached speeds of 118 mph and slowed down to 100 mph but did not pull over, according to court records.

KOTA, an ABC affiliate in Rapid City, South Dakota, reports that Lommen drove erratically onto oncoming traffic at one point. Deputies eventually stopped Lommen by spiking his tires twice, and his car, a Honda CRV, ended up in a ditch. Deputies said Lommen attempted to run from the scene but was detained.

Read: Former deputy pleads not guilty in love triangle murder

A search of the vehicle revealed that Lommen had the body of a woman wrapped in a blanket at the back of his car, officials said.

Authorities also found several prescription bottles and a growler that smelled of alcohol. Lommen had a blood alcohol level of 0.142 percent.

The woman’s death has been listed as suspicious and she has not been identified yet.

The vehicle was registered to a Michelle Walsh, and several of her credit cards were in the car.

According to KOTA, Lommen has been in trouble for drunken driving before in California, and a woman filed a protection order against him in November 2015.

Palm Springs police spokesman Sgt. William Hutchinson, said they are aiding a suspicious death investigation.

Hutchinson said that Lommen had an address at Escena Country Club, in Palm Springs. No other details of their involvement have been released at this time.

Prior to his arrest, Lommen had been staying Palm Springs, possibly with a family member, authorities said.

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