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Manhunt ongoing for two wanted in double murder in Sioux Falls

Maria Shentel LeClair Submitted photo1 / 2
Manuel Frias Submitted photo2 / 2

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—Authorities are still on the hunt for two people wanted in connection with the shooting deaths and robbery of two men in what police believe was a drug deal gone bad Friday, Jan. 5, in north Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls police public information officer Sam Clemens said Manuel Jesus Frias, 34, is wanted for first-degree murder, while Maria Shentel LeClaire, 27, is wanted for accessory to first-degree robbery.

Clemens said police believe there was a drug deal that was going to happen and one tried to rob the other — then the shooting began.

Killed in the shooting incident were Samuel Louis Crockett, 28, and Corey James Zephier, 30.  Zephier is from Sioux Falls, while Crockett is from another southeast South Dakota town, Tyndall.

Crockett’s visitation service was Monday night, Jan. 8, in Tyndall with a burial planned for a later date in a Tyndall cemetery.

Police say they believe Frias is armed and dangerous. The public is urged to call 911 if they see him or LeClaire.

The shooting occurred outside of an apartment building at 700 West Rice Street about 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Someone called police after hearing gunshots and officers found the two men with gunshot wounds. One man was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was taken to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

There were two weapons recovered from the crime scene.

Clemens said police aren't releasing any details on how it happened.

He said the "homicide investigation is moving forward but we still are looking for more information from different people who have knowledge of the case." They are also worried releasing too much information may harm the investigation or endanger people who have already talked to police.

The area surrounding the apartment has been the site of 282 police calls in the past year. The highest number of calls — 48 — were for disorderly subjects. There were also 27 calls for family disputes, 11 for assaults, 10 for accidents and nine for intoxicated subjects, among other calls.

Frias is being sought on a $1 million cash bond, while LeClaire is wanted on a $500,000 cash bond.

Also charged in the case has been Crystal Habben, who is being held on a $50,000 cash bond for misprison of a felony or withholding information about the shooting and robbery.

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