32-year-old who was charged with hiding woman's body now charged with her murder (2024)

A 32-year-old woman who had been charged with hiding the body of Minneapolis woman Liara Tsai, 35, has now been charged with her murder.

Margot Lewis faces two counts of second-degree murder. She is currently in custody at Olmsted County Jail.

The criminal charges were filed via warrant with the request that Lewis is transferred to Hennepin County Jail.

As previously reported, Olmsted County deputies responded to a crash on I-90 in Eyota around 7 a.m. Saturday. There, they found Lewis, identified as the driver, sitting in a lawn chair in the median.

According to court documents, two good Samaritans who stopped to help after the crash told deputies they saw a deceased person in the back seat of the sedan. Deputies found a body wrapped in bedding, a mattress and tarp, with the head visible.

The person, identified as Tsai, was obviously deceased with a puncture wound to her neck. Court documents state that it was apparent to deputies that Tsai didn’t die as a result of the crash.

Court documents also note that Tsai and Lewis are former romantic partners.

Minnesota State Patrol determined that the sedan was going around 105 mph at the time of the crash.

Tsai was the registered owner of the vehicle. Her dog was also wandering outside near the crash scene, court documents state.

Minneapolis police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension executed a search warrant of Tsai’s apartment and found her bed saturated with blood. A bloody plastic and metal object was also found on the bed.

Items commonly found in the trunk of a car — antifreeze and a small shovel — were placed on the table in the apartment. The butcher block in the kitchen was also missing a single steak knife, which wasn’t found anywhere in the apartment, according to court documents.

Once Lewis was medically cleared after the crash, she was booked into Olmsted County Jail. She didn’t respond verbally to questions and investigators learned she had taken a vow of silence and preferred to communicate with sign language.

Court documents state that when she got to the Sheriff’s Office, she sat on the floor, pulled her knees to her chest and started to cry. She was also uncooperative when officers were trying to collect evidence from her person.

When officers explained they were going to take evidence from her person, Lewis reportedly “stood up, shut her eyes, and began feeling the floor, walls, and furniture in the room with her eyes closed.” Prosecutors say she became combative when officers tried to guide her to a chair. Officers also told her they were going to take fingernail clippings from her and she balled up her fists to prevent this.

Tsai’s former spouse said that Tsai was planning to have Lewis visit June 21-29. Court documents state that investigators found an airline flight tag for a flight from Boston to Minneapolis in the crashed car. Surveillance video from the airport also showed Tsai picking up Lewis from the airport.

Tsai’s former spouse told investigators that the relationship between Tsai and Lewis was “sordid and emotionally challenging,” the complaint states.

Investigators also obtained surveillance video from outside Tsai’s apartment. Tsai’s vehicle is seen leaving the apartment around 4:37 a.m. on Saturday. The driver was wearing clothes that match what Lewis was wearing at the time of the crash. Court documents also state that Tsai’s dog was visible in the front seat in the car.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, several resources are available to offer help. For immediate help, contact:

More than 12 million people just in the U.S. are affected by domestic violence every year, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

The organizations listed above can help connect victims to resources like safe shelter, advocacy, legal help and support groups.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline also offers tips for identifying abuse and supporting victims of abuse. CLICK HERE to see those.

Other organizations that can help include:

Minnesota also has a list of many other resources for victims of crimes that can be found HERE.

32-year-old who was charged with hiding woman's body now charged with her murder (2024)
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