A 29-year-old man from South Dakota has been taken into custody after confessing to the killing of a 63-year-old man. The suspect, Morningstar Jewett, is accused of beating the victim, Nigussie Bulti, to death inside his home and attempting to conceal the body in a large garment bag. Jewett has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault in an attempt to cause serious bodily injury, according to records.
Sioux Falls Police Department officers responded to a welfare check request at a residence on East 3rd Street and North Cliff Avenue. The call was made by Bulti’s caseworker from the Southeastern Behavioral Health clinic, who had gone to the victim’s home after he failed to show up for an appointment. Upon entering the residence, the caseworker discovered Bulti’s lifeless body, partially stuffed into a black garment bag. The carpet beneath the bag was soaked in dried blood. First responders pronounced Bulti dead at the scene, noting the advanced state of decomposition and the presence of maggots on the body.
An autopsy conducted by the Minnehaha County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Bulti’s death was a homicide. Investigators discovered a shoe print inside the victim’s home that did not match any of his shoes. The print appeared to contain blood that did not belong to Bulti. A neighbor reported seeing an individual named “Morningstar” near the apartment complex earlier in the week. Subsequently, police located Jewett, who was already in jail on unrelated charges. During a search of his belongings, officers found a pair of jeans and shoes with a pattern resembling the shoe print found at the crime scene.
During an interview with the police, Jewett allegedly admitted to killing Bulti. He claimed that the motive for the attack was retaliation for an incident six days prior, in which Bulti had allegedly assaulted “his girl.” Jewett described stomping on Bulti’s head multiple times and kicking him in the jaw. He also confessed to striking the victim with a piece of wood. Jewett refused to identify the individuals who later attempted to clean up the crime scene.
Jewett is currently being held at the Minnehaha County Jail on a $50,000 bond. It remains unclear whether he has obtained legal representation. Authorities have indicated that more charges may be filed as the investigation continues.