Skip to Content

Norfolk man sentenced to life in prison for fatal kidnapping of Yankton woman

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00
Phyllis Hunhoff
Phyllis Hunhoff's body was located inside of her vehicle on the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation back in November 2018.

OMAHA, Neb. (KTIV) - A man from Norfolk, Nebraska has been sentenced to life in prison for the fatal kidnapping of Phyllis Hunhoff of Yankton, South Dakota.

According to a release, 51-year-old Ramon Simpson was sentenced Wednesday for kidnapping resulting in death and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. He was convicted back in March after a 7-day trial.

Hunhoff was reported missing back in November 2018 after leaving her mother's residence in Utica, South Dakota.

On Nov. 8, 2018, Hunhoff's body was located inside her vehicle on the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation in Knox County, Nebraska. Authorities determined she was killed by strangulation and stab wounds.

Court documents claim Simpson and another man, Joseph James, kidnapped Hunhoff near her mother's residence and took her and her vehicle to Norfolk. At some point, authorities say James drove Hunhoff's body and her vehicle to the reservation and set both on fire to hide the evidence of her murder and kidnapping.

Using evidence gathered from DNA tests and security footage from a local gas station, both Simpson and James were arrested.

Back in July 2020, James was sentenced to life imprisonment after entering a guilty plea for the charge of murder in indian country.

“Phyllis Hunhoff was a loving daughter, sister, and aunt.  She was active in her faith and volunteered in her community. Her death was a tremendous loss to her family and her community.  We hope today’s sentence brings some small bit of closure to the Hunhoff family, knowing that Joseph James and Ramon Simpson will spend the rest of their lives in prison and not be in a position to harm anyone again,” said Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp.

Author Profile Photo

Dean Welte

Skip to content