Rapid City family searches for answers 30 years after homicide

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The discovery of a body, a homicide, has left a hole in the heart of the family that has not healed after three decades.

On October 15, 1990, the body of Irving Audiss, Jr. was discovered at Rapid Creek, behind Central High School, and 30 years later, the family is still searching for answers.

“It seems like we’re always looking, maybe they’ll find out today what happened,” says Irving’s mother, Frances Audiss. “So it’s been hard. It’s just a day by day thing you think about it. Wondering if they’re gonna ever find out anything about it.”

Frances says it has been difficult seeing Irving’s friends and questioning whether they knew more than they let on, or if they were involved. 

Adding to the her pain, Audiss only has one photo to remember Irving. Just three weeks ago, she lost her home, another grandson, Hebrew Audiss, and all mementos of her firstborn to a house fire. Frances says her daughter alerted her to the fire, but that her grandson had barricaded himself inside the home, and was not removed until late that evening. Along with the loss of photos, Frances said Irving’s artwork was also lost in the fire.

“Everything’s different , so I don’t even feel like I‘m at home,” she said of her new home.

According to the Rapid City Police Department, Audiss was likely robbed after winning money at Dee Dee‘s Bar and Grill, beaten to death, and dragged into Rapid Creek. In 2015, an individual claimed to have information regarding the murder, but it ultimately yielded no results.

“There’s a family out there that wants answers, and needs answers,” said Capt. James Johns of the RCPD patrol division. “And somebody in this community knows what happened to Irving, and we’re just hoping that sometime, if it takes the 30th anniversary to get somebody to thinking about it or say something, that’s what we need right now. Because we need the community to step forward on this one.”

Of the long time it’s taken to solve the case, Johns says that in 1990 the police department transcribed all cases by hand, and it has been a long grueling process, sorting through the many witness testimonies. He, along with Frances Audiss, also both realize that there is also always the possibility that witnesses, or even the culprit, may have passed away.

Despite Irvings struggles, Frances remembers him as a good guy, and a great father who always wanted to do more for his sons.

“He had two boys, two sons, and that was, his life were those boys,” she said.

She also said she felt closer to her son after she took her grandsons in, as they looked just like Irving.

After his death, Frances spent much of her time at Rapid Creek, hoping to find answers. Now 83, she hopes someone will be kind enough to come forward with information that would solve her sons untimely death.

If you have any information or tips regarding the death of Irving Audiss, Jr., please contact the Rapid City Police Department.



Categories: Local News, South Dakota News