Kidnapping suspect arrested

Brookings County Sheriff's Office photo

BROOKINGS – A Sioux Falls man accused of kidnapping a Sioux Falls woman at Oakwood Lakes State Park earlier this month has been arrested and is being held in the Brookings County Detention Center on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Suspect Alexander Andrade, 23, was arrested Friday afternoon in Sioux Falls, according to the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office. Andrade made an appearance in Brookings County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

According to a criminal complaint, Andrade is facing felony charges of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated assault – domestic violence. He also faces two misdemeanor charges of intentional damage to property.

Andrade’s bond remained at $50,000 cash-only following Tuesday’s bond hearing, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 9.

The alleged kidnapping was reported at 4:20 a.m. July 18 at the 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, he added.

“(Alexander) 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 alleged.

Sebring said South Dakota State University Police located the suspect vehicle on the U.S. Highway 14 bypass near Brookings 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. Andrade fled on foot and was at large for five days.

A Brookings woman, 29-year-old Ashle Heier, was allegedly in the suspect vehicle with Andrade at the time of the kidnapping, Sebring said.

Heier was arrested last week and is facing four felony charges of accessory to a crime, according to a complaint from the Brookings County State’s Attorney’s Office. A probable cause statement from the sheriff’s office alleges Heier “was the accomplice and driver of the vehicle during the commission of crimes.” 

She is being held in the Brookings County Detention Center on a $20,000 cash-only bond, and a preliminary hearing has been set for Aug. 2.

Contact Jill Fier at [email protected]