Volume 104, Number 15 - April 12, 2007
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Sheriff’s release victim’s identity
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that the victim of the Tuesday, April 3, 2007, homicide was Richard Dean Nystrom, 54, previously of Ukiah, California. The Sheriff’s release said that an autopsy report revealed Nystrom had died from blunt force trauma to his head and face.
Though the release classified Nystrom as a transient, his family sent a letter to the Pinedale Roundup decrying this label. Nystrom’s sister said that he had a permanent home with their mother, but traveled the United States “preaching God’s message of love.” However, according to a story in the Casper Star Tribune, Nystrom had told Victor Scardella, assistant mission director at the Good Samaritan Mission in Jackson, that he had no family. Nystrom had stayed at the Mission for several days.
During a routine patrol, the Sheriff’s Department found Nystrom’s body on Rim Road, an access to the Hoback Ranches subdivision, at 11:30 Tuesday night. In the release, Sheriff Bardy Bardin called for “anybody that may have seen Nystrom hitchhiking on Highway 191, south of Hoback Junction between 6:00 pm and 11:30 pm on April 3, 2007,” to call the department at 367-4378 with any information. Several eyewitnesses have come forward with reports of Nystrom hitchhiking between Jackson and Hoback Junction earlier in the day.
This is the second homicide involving a hitchhiker in one year for this area. Last summer, Ben Bradley was hitchhiking between Rock Springs and Jackson and went missing. Months later, his body was found and confirmed as a homicide. That case remains unsolved.
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