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Family, police look for closure for 30-year-old murder

Irving Audiss Jr. was found facedown in Rapid Creek in 1990.
Rapid City Police say his body was found facedown in Rapid Creek.
Rapid City Police say his body was found facedown in Rapid Creek.(KOTA/ KEVN)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:51 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - October in the Black Hills is said to be a beautiful time of year, but for one family, October 15th marks a tragic day-- the 30 year anniversary of the death of Irving Audiss Jr.

In 1990, Irving Audiss Jr.'s body was found floating facedown in Rapid Creek, near Central High School.

Police said there was evidence that he was dragged from a nearby parking lot to the location where his body was found.

“A case like this weighs on the department,” said Captain James Johns, with the Patrol Division of the Rapid City Police Department. “Any time you’ve got a cold case that, it’s been 30 years since the event happened. There’s a family. Out there that wants answers and needs answers and somebody in this community knows what happened to Irving.”

A family who misses him.

“He was really a good guy, he’d help anybody,” said Frances Audiss, Irving’s mother. "My favorite memory is when his sons were little, he used to always wait on them and carry them around and he spent a lot of time with his sons.

“Was he a good dad?” asked Anderley Penwell

“He was very a good dad,” said Frances. “He always wanted to do more for them.”

Police think Audiss was beaten to death.

“He was assaulted,” said Johns. “The belief was the Mr. Audiss had won an amount of money at one of the local bars, I think it was DD’s-- the old bar on East Boulevard. And the belief is that Mr. Audiss won the money, left the bar, and was grabbed and attacked by several people where he was eventually robbed and murdered.”

While James said RCPD does not have suspects at this time, Audiss’s mother has her own theories.

“I heard it could have been three or four different guys that I know of,” said Frances. “But, three of them is dead.”

“Where they friends or acquaintances?” asked Anderley Penwell.

“Yes, they were,” said Frances."But, the day after this happened, I heard one of them say, ‘well, he deserved everything he got.’ So, it was one of the three that died."

She still lives in Rapid City, and used to pray along the creek for her son.

“Oh, I used to go down there,” said Frances. “Every week. And they had the markings where they found him on those rocks.”

Rapid City Police said this is an open investigation, and encourage anyone with information to come forward.

“There’s a lot of unsolved crimes, and I just want people to know that it could happen to them, too,” said Frances. “So, if anybody knows anything to come forward.”

If you or someone you know has any information on the murder of Irving Audiss Jr., please contact Rapid City Police at (605) 394-4131.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.

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