Rural Clay County Death Victim Identified

Rural Clay County Death Victim Identified

Authorities have identified the victim found last month in a burned vehicle in Clay County, ruling his death was accidental.

According to the Division of Criminal Investigation, Kyle Martinsen of rural Beresford was found deceased June 22nd in his vehicle on a rural Clay County Road near Beresford.

Clay County Sheriff Andy Howe says the vehicle was extensively burned, and the fire had burned itself out prior to the discovery of the vehicle.

The Clay County coroner has ruled Martinsen’s death an accident.

Howe adds that it was determined that the fire accidentally began inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Based on evidence found, it was suspected that the fire likely began due to a lit cigarette or cigarette lighter.

An autopsy was performed June 23nd in Sioux Falls, determining Martinsen died of smoke inhalation and thermal burns. DNA test results assisted investigators with the identification of the body.