Brookings woman charged as accessory to alleged kidnapping

Brookings County Sheriff's Office photo

Updated at 10 a.m. July 22.

BROOKINGS – A Brookings woman has been arrested and is facing multiple charges in relation to an alleged kidnapping at Oakwood Lakes State Park over the weekend. 

The man accused of the kidnapping, Alexander Felipe Andrade, 23, of Sioux Falls, was still at large Wednesday.

Ashle Heier, 29, of Brookings, is facing four counts of accessory to a crime, according to a complaint from the Brookings County State’s Attorney’s Office. All are Class 5 felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Additional charges may be filed at a later time, Brookings County State’s Attorney Dan Nelson said Wednesday. 

Heier is being held at the Brookings County Detention Center on a $20,000 cash-only bond, Nelson added.

Heier is also facing pending drug charges out of Minnehaha County, Sioux Falls Police said Tuesday.

The alleged kidnapping started early Sunday morning, according to the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office. It was reported at 4:20 a.m. Sunday at Oakwood Lakes State Park.

Brookings County Assistant Sheriff Scott Sebring said the victim, a 22-year-old Sioux Falls woman, was sitting in a vehicle with two friends when a blue Jeep pulled up behind them. Andrade and the woman had been in a previous relationship. 

“A male suspect identified as 23-year-old Alexander Felipe Andrade of Sioux Falls exited the Jeep with a machete and approached the victim’s vehicle. Alexander started swinging the machete striking the vehicle. Alexander reached into the vehicle and forcefully removed (the victim). Alexander forced her into the vehicle he was driving and left the scene,” Sebring said Sunday.

Sebring said a woman identified as Heier was allegedly in the suspect vehicle with Andrade at the time of the kidnapping. 

A probable cause statement from the sheriff’s office says Heier “was the accomplice and driver of the vehicle during the commission of crimes.”

Sebring said South Dakota State University Police located the suspect vehicle on the U.S. Highway 14 bypass near Brookings Sunday morning and pursued it for several miles on Interstate 29 then onto Highway 324 before losing it. 

“A while later the Sioux Falls Police located the vehicle in Sioux Falls and began to pursue it. Sioux Falls Police terminated the pursuit for safety reasons. Minutes later the suspect vehicle was located as it had ran out of gas,” Sebring said.

The woman was able to get away from Andrade and make a call to police, Sebring said. Heier and the victim were found walking down the street in East Sioux Falls Sunday by police. Heier was interviewed and released by police at that time, Sebring said.

“We weren’t sure at that point what her involvement was,” Sebring said Wednesday morning. 

Heier was later arrested and charged.

Andrade fled on foot and was still at large as of Wednesday.

“The Sioux Falls Warrant Task Force is out looking for him,” Sebring said.

Sebring said Andrade is facing charges of first-degree kidnapping, intentional damage to property, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated domestic assault.

Anyone with any information about this case can contact the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office at 605-696-8300 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously by visiting or by calling 605-692-STOP (7867).