PennCo Sheriff’s Office makes arrest in 2013 murder
RAPID CITY, S.D. — A Hill City man is under arrest, charged in connection with the death of a Custer woman in July 2013.
The Pennington County Sheriff’s office arrested 53-year-old Richard Melvin Schmitz on Friday, July 16. He is charged with second-degree murder in death of 38-year-old Meshell Will.
Will was last seen alive in Keystone on August 24, 2013. Her body was found about a week later off Iron Mountain Road near mile marker 54 and the Pig Tail Bridge.
Schmitz had been considered a person of interest for much of the investigation.
“We never gave up on the Meshell Will case,” said Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom. “After eight years of hard work, we’re pleased to finally arrest the person we believe is responsible for the crime.”
Thom said PCSO investigators never stopped conducting interviews, examining evidence, or reviewing forensic material.
“He was a person of interest and we were aware of it and we weren’t going to just forget about him,” said Capt. Tony Harrison with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. “We did the work we needed to do so that if something came up and we could arrest him…that we knew where he was. We were waiting for some more pieces of the puzzle and the piece that we got that solidified the puzzle came not that long ago.”
The Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Rapid City Police Department, and South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation all participated in the joint investigation.