Body found rolled in mattress leads to murder charges in Hennepin County

Police lights generic. (FOX 9)

A woman charged after a dead body was found inside a vehicle following a car crash in southern Minnesota is now facing murder charges in Hennepin County.

Hennepin County prosecutors charged Margot G Lewis, 32, of Iowa, on Wednesday with two counts of second-degree murder after police discovered a "bloody scene" inside a Minneapolis apartment. Lewis was charged earlier this week in Olmsted County with one count of interfering with a body.

The charges detail that the victim is the former romantic partner of Lewis.

Discovery of the body

Olmsted County deputies found the body inside Lewis' car after responding to a crash on I-90 near the Highway 42 exit. In the crash, deputies say Lewis' Chevy Sonic had gone off the road while going approximately 105 mph and hit a guard rail. 

When deputies arrived, Lewis was being helped by a bystander. In the backseat, deputies found a dead 35-year-old woman.

The Olmsted County charges detail: "Deputy Baron observed the head of a human body that was wrapped in a bed sheet, a blanket, a futon-style mattress, and a tarp. The body was in a position with its head toward the passenger-side rear door and its feet was toward the driver's side. The body was cold to the touch and Deputy Baron was unable to detect a pulse. There appeared to be dried blood soaked into the bed sheet. It was apparent to Deputy Baron that the death of the person found in the back seat was not a result of the traffic crash."

At the scene, law enforcement found a dog wandering outside the vehicle. After running the microchip, they determined that the dog belonged to the victim, whose address was listed in Minneapolis. 

Crime scene in Minneapolis 

Investigators executed a search warrant at the victim’s studio apartment on 16th Street and found a "bloody scene."

"[The] victim’s bed and bedding were saturated with blood. A bloody plastic and metal object was also located in the bed. Smaller amounts of blood were located in the apartment’s bathroom," the charges read. A steak knife was apparently missing from the kitchen, and authorities could not locate it in the apartment.

The medical examiner noted the victim had a "gaping puncture wound" to her neck along with multiple sharp force injuries, charges explained. The medical examiner further noted the victim did not die as a result of the crash, but as of the court filing on Wednesday, the autopsy findings were still ongoing. 

While the criminal complaint did not provide a motive, investigators spoke with the victim’s former spouse who described Lewis and the victim’s relationship as "sordid and emotionally challenging," charges allege.

During the investigation, authorities learned Lewis flew from Boston to Minneapolis on June 21 to visit the victim. According to police, the victim picked her up at 11:08 p.m., and hours later, surveillance video captured a vehicle leaving her Minneapolis apartment.

Authorities described the driver as appearing to wear clothing matching Lewis', and the victim’s dog was sitting in the front seat, charges allege.

Lewis in custody

Following the crash, Lewis was taken to a hospital for treatment and then to the Olmsted County Jail, where charges described her as being uncooperative.   

Lewis remains in custody, but according to the complaint, a warrant has been filed to have her transferred to Hennepin County Jail. The Hennepin County prosecutors also added that bail is necessary given the "brutal nature of the crime." 

An Olmsted County judge set Lewis’ bail at $1 million.