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Murder Charge Filed Against Man Accused of Killing Mother in Palm Springs, Leading South Dakota Authorities on Chase

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Palm Springs, CA -

A man who had been staying in Palm Springs with his mother, who was found dead inside the trunk of his SUV following a nearly 50-mile New Year's Day police chase in South Dakota, is  facing a murder charge in Riverside County.

Tosten David Walsh-Lommen, 30, remains in custody in Pennington County, South Dakota, in lieu of  $2.5 million bail in connection with the pursuit and subsequent discovery of the body of Michelle Nanette Walsh, 58, in the rear of the SUV. There was no immediate word on when he would be brought back to Riverside County.

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According to autopsy results released Monday by South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley's office, Walsh died of ``blunt trauma to her head and hemorrhage anterior neck musculature.'' An arrest warrant declaration alleges that Walsh-Lommen admitted choking his mother to death, 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.

Palm Springs police Sgt. William Hutchinson said last week that officers searched the Icon Way home following Walsh-Lommen's arrest, but did not reveal what was found. He also said officers had ``responded to that address'' previously and ``have had contact with (Walsh-Lommen) in the past,'' but did not provide details on those encounters.

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The chase began around noon Jan. 1 when a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper saw Walsh-Lommen driving on a freeway 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.

Riverside County prosecutors charged him with murder on Monday. He is also facing charges in South Dakota related to the pursuit.

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