Remains confirmed to be missing Sanborn County man Eugene Prins, officials say

DNA results show remains found in August belong to Eugene Prins

Eugene Prins (left) went missing after a short road-trip in eastern South Dakota in March of 2020.
Photos courtesy of Pat Scholtes.

WOONSOCKET, S.D. — The Sanborn County State’s Attorney office confirmed Monday that human remains discovered near Woonsocket in 2022 belong to a Sanborn County man who went missing in 2020.

According to a press release from the states attorney posted on the Sanborn Weekly Journal Facebook page, Eugene Prins went missing in rural Sanborn County on March 26, 2020. His disappearance was reported to authorities the next day, Friday, March 27. Human skeletal remains, which were believed to be his, were found Aug. 30, 2022.

Results from DNA testing confirmed the remains were Prins’.

Authorities believe from a three-year investigation that on the evening of his disappearance, Prins, age 45, had been with a good friend running some errands and subsequently, they consumed alcohol. Later in the evening, Prins’ friend stopped at a rural Woonsocket residence and went inside. Prins stayed in the vehicle, reportedly asleep, according to the press release.

At some point, evidence indicates that Prins left the vehicle and walked south down the gravel road from this residence. Conditions in the area were extremely wet and cold on March 26, 2020. After walking down the road and being seen by witnesses in a northbound vehicle, Prins left the roadway.


The skeletal remains that were found in August of 2022 were located approximately one mile and a half west of where evidence indicates Prins was last known to be on the night of his disappearance.

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Anthropology testing was done on the remains, and it was determined that the remains were human, male and in the correct height and age range for Prins. Subsequent forensic testing was done that determined that they, in fact, were the remains of Prins.

There is no evidence of any criminal activity, according to the release.

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