Vermillion man arrested for Paulson murder

Vermillion man arrested for Paulson murder The trailer home of Mark Paulson remains sealed, with a forensic lab van from the Department of Criminal Investigation, Pierre, parked nearby, as law enforcement personnel investigate the Vermillion man's homicide. DCI personnel are conducting a painstaking search for evidence inside Paulson's home, siad Acting Vermillion Police Chief Kim Callahan. by David Lias A Vermillion man was arrested by local law enforcement Friday for the murder earlier this week of Mark Paulson.

Acting Vermillion Police Chief Kim Callahan said Chaske Star McDonough, 20, was taken into custody.

McDonough resided at 112 E. Cherry Street in an apartment located directly east of the Paulson trailer home in the Lamplighter Trailer Court.

"He was arrested for second degree murder," Callahan said at approximately 10 p.m. Friday. "The charge is a Class B felony which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison."

Callahan said McDonough is in custody in the Clay County Jail in Vermillion. He wouldn't comment on when or where McDonough was arrested.

Investigators had determined Thursday that Paulson was killed in his Vermillion home.

Local law enforcement officials continue to be busy investigating Paulson's death, and are unable to release additional details about the incident.

Paulson's body was transported to St. Paul, MN for an autopsy shortly after it was found in his home Aug. 13.

"The death investigation has now officially been ruled a homicide," Callahan told the Plain Talk earlier Friday. "That�s from the M.E. (medical examiner) in St. Paul."

Callahan said local law enforcement are still following up on leads and gathering evidence. Personnel from the Vermillion Police Department, the Clay County Sheriff's Office and the crime scene unit team of the S.D. Department of Criminal Investigation, Pierre, are participating in the investigation.

"We've got everybody pretty occupied in all three agencies involved here," he said.

The crime scene remained sealed Friday, and likely will be limited only to investigators for some time yet.

"It's real tedious, long work," Callahan said of the tasks officials are carrying out in Paulson�s home. "We (the police department) have some things that we need to do, also, in there, so it�s going to be sealed up for a time yet."

Paulson's body was discovered after Vermillion police responded to a 911 call to his home at approximately 9:20 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Lamplighter Trailer Court, located at 108 E. Cherry Street.

Police refused to comment on the cause of death earlier this week as they waited for the autopsy to be completed in St. Paul. Callahan did initially say, however, that Paulson�s death was suspicious in nature.

Callahan said Paulson had lived in Vermillion approximately 15 to 20 years. He wouldn't say who made the 911 call.

"We are currently following up leads and interviewing various people," he said.

A blue van from the Department of Criminal Investigation, Pierre, remains parked outside Paulson�s residence. The crime scene is sealed from the public with a long strand of yellow tape warning people not to cross, and local law enforcement personnel are making sure no one enters the crime scene.

Forensic specialists from Pierre have been painstakingly collecting samples of DNA, hair, fibers and other pieces of evidence from the trailer.

"Our detectives are also involved, not so much in the forensic investigation, but in any follow-up at the scene," Callahan said.

Once the DCI officials complete their sweep of the Paulson residence, he said, local law enforcement will collect evidence they need for their investigation.

Callahan said he is unable to discuss some aspects of the homicide, because the investigation is still active.

"Things we can't release are the condition of the body, the condition of the crime scene, etc., because those things, if made public, would damage our investigation," he said.

Callahan wouldn't comment Friday on the cause of Paulson's death. "That may come out later, but as of now, we are unable to release that," he said. "We feel there are some things we need to remain confidential about as the investigation proceeds. We don�t want anything to hinder it because maybe we�ve leaked something out that we shouldn't have."

Local law enforcement developed leads in their investigation, Callahan said Friday, thanks, in part, to information supplied by the public.

"We've had some calls that we�re following up," he said. "We are encouraging anybody to step forward that has any information on this."

Callahan said it's reasonable to expect Vermillion citizens to be concerned about the homicide.

"I'm not going to downplay it. I do not see at this time, however, a reason for people to panic or to take any unnecessary precautions," he said.

He urges people to just use common sense to be secure, such as locking their doors at night.

"If you think you've got a prowler or something, call the police. It�s pretty simple to do," Callahan said.

People who believe they have information that may be helpful in the investigation may contact the Vermillion Police Department at 605-677-7070 or the Clay County Sheriff's Office at 605-677-7100.

Check for updates to this story on the Plain Talk's Web page at www.vermillionsd.com.

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