A Norfolk man now faces murder, kidnapping and carjacking charges in the November death of a Yankton, South Dakota, woman whose body was found in her burned-out car on the Santee Sioux Reservation.

Last week, a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Omaha accused Joseph Lloyd James, 48, of the murder of Phyllis Hunhoff during the perpetration of a kidnapping along with kidnapping, carjacking and two conspiracy charges.

A second Norfolk man, 49-year-old Ramon Simpson, is accused of kidnapping resulting in death and conspiracy.

The indictment against them was unsealed Friday.

James alone had faced an arson charge for trying to set fire to a vehicle owned by Hunhoff, 59, on Nov. 5.

She was last seen leaving her mother's house in southeastern South Dakota the day before. Hunhoff's body was found three days later and her death was ruled a homicide.

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In the indictment, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jody Mullis said on Nov. 4, James and Simpson abducted the victim in Utica, South Dakota, and took her and her 2001 Honda Accord to Nebraska.

Mullis said James dropped off Simpson in Norfolk, killed Hunhoff and set fire to her car.

At Simpson's first court appearance Friday, he was appointed an attorney.

James is set to make his initial appearance Friday.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.



Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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