A man accused of killing his mother in Palm Springs, then leading South Dakota authorities on a New Year’s Day chase with the woman’s body in an SUV, will be extradited to Riverside County to face a murder charge, South Dakota officials confirmed Thursday.
Tosten David Walsh-Lommen, 30, has been in custody in Pennington County, South Dakota, since the chase and subsequent discovery of Michelle Nanette Walsh, 58, whose body was found wrapped in a blanket in the rear of the SUV. Autopsy results revealed Walsh died of "blunt trauma to her head and hemorrhage anterior neck musculature," according to South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley’s office.
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Walsh-Lommen was charged with murder by the Riverside County District Attorney’s office in early January, but his transfer back to California had been delayed.
A requisition order from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office was received and signed by South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard late Wednesday, according to Attorney General spokeswoman Sara Rabern. It was unclear exactly when Walsh- Lommen will be returned to Riverside County.
An arrest warrant declaration alleges that Walsh-Lommen admitted strangling his mother, then "freaked out and attempted to clean up the crime scene with bleach."
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Prior to his arrest, Walsh-Lommen had been staying in Palm Springs with his mother at a home on Icon Way, where Palm Springs investigators found bleach and blood stains on the carpet, the declaration states.
Investigators believe Walsh-Lommen killed his mother either late in the evening of Dec. 30 or in the early morning hours of Dec. 31.
The South Dakota chase began around noon Jan. 1 when a Highway Patrol trooper saw Walsh-Lommen driving on Interstate 90 at more than 100 mph, triggering a pursuit that ended some 50 miles later, when officers put down a spike strip that disabled the SUV, according to Jackley’s office. Walsh-Lommen then allegedly made an unsuccessful attempt to flee on foot.