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Man’s stolen truck traces back to online connection with Rushmore woman

WORTHINGTON -- A Rushmore woman and Texas man match one another on an online social meet site. They agree to meet up at a gas station, where Shari Murphy asks for help for she and whom she claims to be her brother. She says they are facing homele...

WORTHINGTON - A Rushmore woman and Texas man match one another on an online social meet site.  

They agree to meet up at a gas station, where Shari Murphy asks for help for she and whom she claims to be her brother. She says they are facing homelessness.

The Texas man invites them to share his hotel room with him. Upon waking from an afternoon nap, he discovers his backpack, laptop, truck and stranger guests are missing.

That’s the narrative from an investigation detailed in a criminal complaint filed in Nobles County against Murphy, 22, who was discovered by a Worthington police officer in late August asleep in the front center passenger seat of a 2010 Chevy pickup in a Worthington hotel parking lot. The vehicle matched the description and VIN of the truck reported stolen by her online connection.

Murphy, also known as Shari Naquin, made a first appearance Tuesday in Nobles County District Court on criminal charges filed Sept. 7 related to the late-August recovery of the stolen truck. She was released on her own recognizance.

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According to the criminal complaint, a Worthington police officer made contact with the driver of the vehicle, Bradyn Ackerson, 26, of Carthage, Mo. after receiving a driving complaint.

Ackerson and Austin Powell, 24, of Rushmore were initially charged with stolen property possession and drug-related offenses. None of the three women occupants, including Murphy, were immediately charged.

In phone interviews with law enforcement, Murphy admitted to meeting the victim on an online dating site. She denied knowing the vehicle was stolen, claiming that Powell - whom she referred to law enforcement as her boyfriend, and stayed in the hotel room - had been given permission to use the truck.

Murphy faces felony possession of stolen property and giving a peace officer a false name, a misdemeanor. The felony-level offense is punishable up to no more than five years imprisonment, a fine not greater than $10,000 or both.

Ackerson and Powell’s criminal cases are pending in Nobles County District Court.

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