The South Dakota Attorney General's office released the Crime in South Dakota 2016 publication this week. It's a comprehensive compilation of South Dakota criminal statistics based on arrest and reporting information from South Dakota law enforcement.

South Dakota law enforcement agencies reported a total of 42,200 arrests involving 75,778 offenses in 2016. Of those arrests,19,577 involved serious crimes like murder, rape and robbery. And 22,623 of the arrests were for less serious offences like liquor laws and disorderly conduct.

"The crime statistics reflect that, overall, South Dakota remains a safe place to live as a result of strong community involvement and law enforcement efforts. Many categories of crime, including murder, rape, and sexual offenses were down in 2016. However, the national drug epidemic continues to impact overall crime in South Dakota, with drug offense alone increasing 12.5% in 2016,” Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a press release.

Looking specifically at the murders that occurred in South Dakota in 2016:

  • 21 people who were victims of Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter.
  • 23 offenders were charged with Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter.
  • The average age of the victims was 31 years-old. The oldest was 77 and the youngest 18 months.
  • The average age of the offenders was 33 years-old. The oldest was 62 the youngest was 16.
  • Of the 21 victims, 13 were male and eight were female.
  • Of the 23 offenders 22 were male and one was female.
  • 16 of the victims were white. Five were Native American.
  • 19 of the offenders were white, three were Native American and one was black.
  • Three of the offenders were not know by their victims. Eighteen of the the offenders were known by their victims.
  • Of the offenders that were known by their victims, 11 were family members (including boyfriend/girlfriends).
  • Handguns were used by six of the offenders. Knives were used by four. A baseball bad was used in one. Asphyxiation was involved in one. The others involved "personal weapons" or "other."
  • Alcohol was being used by seven of the offenders shortly before the crime, and drugs in one.
  • Nine of the murders occurred in or around Sioux Falls, three in or around Rapid City.
  • The majority of the murders occurred at a residence (12). Three happened on or near a road, two at hotels/motels, one at a casino, one at a storage facility, one in a field and one at a shelter.

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