MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) — A man convicted of running over another man and then hiding his body near a creek in northern Wisconsin in 2008 has been sentenced to 25 years.
Erik Smith, 34, was an early suspect because witnesses saw him leaving an Iron Mountain, Mich., bar with the victim, 28-year-old Eric Volp, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Though Michigan and Wisconsin authorities continued to investigate Volp’s disappearance, it wasn’t until a tipster came forward years later that investigators decided to charge Smith this year.
Smith has been serving a federal prison sentence for child pornography, which was discovered on his computer during a search warrant related to the Volp investigation. Fellow inmates said Smith had told them about running over a guy named Eric and hiding his body along a stream.
The body of Volp, a former New Berlin resident who had moved to Iron Mountain a few months earlier, was found along K.C. Creek, upstream from a U.S. Highway 8 bridge over the creek in Dunbar in July 2009.
Smith said he and Volp argued after leaving the bar and that he ran over Volp by accident, then got scared and hid his body.
Marinette County Circuit Judge David Miron imposed the maximum sentences for all three convictions and made them consecutive to each other and to the 20-year sentence Smith is serving in a Colorado federal prison. His release date for that offense is in 2027.
Miron also ordered Smith to pay about $13,000 in restitution, including expenses for Volp’s funeral and extraditing Smith to face the Wisconsin charges.