La Crosse man appears in court, charged with first degree intentional homicide

A La Crosse man is charged in court with first degree intentional homicide.

Erik J. Sackett, 38, appeared in La Crosse County Court Thursday and was charged in the death of Erin E. Somvilai.

Somvilai was first reported missing in early June when she hadn’t been heard from for several days. Nearly two weeks after she was reported missing, her body was found by a fisherman in Vernon County

According to court papers, the defendant described his relationship with the victim as “We were just friends, hanging out you know,” that “She don’t want no relationship to be tied down.” Sackett also said Somvilai was upset that his current girlfriend was spending time at his apartment.

Sackett told police the last time he was at the victims residence was on June 2, and that Somvilai showed up at his house on the morning of June 3 under the influence of alcohol and or drugs, according to court papers.

Police found evidence suggesting Sackett was not truthful about his last meeting with Somvilai. An officer met with Somvilai’s neighbor who said that Sackett was at the victims home on June 3, several times throughout the day and was behaving strangely, according to the criminal complaint.

The neighbor’s father told police he heard footsteps just after 11 p.m. on June 3 followed by a loud thump that shook the floor. He could hear mumbling and a few quiet noises for a short time after, then all was quiet, according to court papers.

Police reviewed surveillance video confirming Sackett’s presence at the victims home four times on June 3 and 4.

Police also reviewed text messages on Somvilai’s phone as well as cell phone tracking details for the victim’s phone and Sackett’s, placing the defendant within the area of Runge Hollow Lake, where the victim was found.

Here’s a copy of the criminal complaint.

Sackett received a $1 million bond in court Thursday, August 9.