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Grand Jury sought in connection to Cedar County woman's death

Authorities seeking to bring charges in connection to ATV accident

Hartington, Nebraska - The Cedar County Attorney announced on Monday that he's filed an application for a Grand Jury in connection to the death of a Yankton woman in June of 2017.

21-year-old Jessi Anderson was found dead at a rural intersection north of Fordyce in rural Cedar County on June 29th. 

It was originally reported that Anderson was an occupant on an ATV that failed to maneuver a t-intersection. Authorities at the time said that Anderson had been thrown from the ATV and was pronounced dead on the scene. 

However, documents obtained by 9 Investigates indicate that the accident may have occurred as early as 10:30 P.M. the night before, and that her body was left at the scene of the accident.

Authorities say that Anderson's mother reported her missing on June 29th around 12:30 in the afternoon, about an hour before authorities responded to the scene. When reporting her daughter missing she told police that she didn't want Anderson's boyfriend Derrik Nelson to get in trouble. 

While investigating the accident authorities discovered that the ATV had been returned to Derrik Nelson's family farm and had been partially disassembled. Rust stains found on Nelson's ATV were consistent with rust stains found on Anderson's clothing and authorities say that evidence at the scene indicated that the ATV was driven away from the crash site.

Investigators say that Nelson was the last person to see Anderson alive, and that he was the one who found her body in the ditch at the crash site. The documents say that Nelson was also at the scene when authorities arrived. Nelson told authorities that he had taken Anderson to the farm where the ATV was stored, but went home to Yankton without her. 

Affidavits for search warrants 9 Investigates reviewed indicate authorities sought cell phone data from both Nelson and Anderson's phones. Anderson's phone was found next to her body.

The warrants indicate that authorities were looking into filing charges of Motor Vehicle Homicide, Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Death, Reckless Driving, and All-Terrain Vehicle Operation Violations. 

The documents did not indicate who authorities were intending to file charges against. 

Grand Juries are convened to determine if there's enough evidence to take a case to trial. 

A date for the Grand Jury has not yet been set. 


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