Iowa Woman Crashes Car in Minnesota After Killing Ex-Partner Who was Found Dead in Backseat

Liara Kaylee Tsai and Margot Lewis
Liara Kaylee Tsai (left) and Margot Lewis. Twitter

An Iowa woman is accused of killing her ex-partner in Minnesota, then crashing a car with the body inside, court records say.

The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office responded to a June 22 crash on a highway. Deputies say the vehicle was being driven by Margot Lewis, 32, and in the backseat they found 35-year-old trans woman Liara Kaylee Tsai dead.

Tsai was Found Wrapped in Blood-Soaked Bedding, Had a 'Gaping Puncture' Wound on Neck

On Saturday morning, police arrived at the scene of a single-vehicle car crash in Olmsted County, and discovered that Lewis was behind the wheel of the vehicle involved in the crash.

Authorities say Tsai's condition was "suspicious" at the time and she did not die from the crash. Tsai's body was wrapped in blood-soaked bedding and she had a "gaping puncture" wound on her neck, according to a criminal complaint. Authorities went to Tsai's home and found a "scene indicating violence," deputies said. An autopsy found Tsai died from multiple sharp-force injuries.

Incriminating Evidence Found at Tsai's Home, Crash was 'Intentional'

At Tsai's home, authorities found blood on her bed and in the bathroom, the criminal complaint said. A kitchen knife was missing and items normally found in a car trunk were found inside the home, the complaint said.

According to court documents obtained by ABC6 News,, initial observations of the scene of the crash "indicated that the crash was intentional."

Tsai and Lewis' Relationship was 'Sordid and Emotionally Challenging'

Lewis was in town visiting Tsai and was staying with her, according to friends who spoke with investigators, court records said. Surveillance video from Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport showed Tsai picking Lewis up on June 21, the complaint said.

One of Tsai's former partners told investigators that Tsai's relationship with Lewis was "sordid and emotionally challenging," the complaint said.

Lewis Not Co-operating with the Investigation

Officers obtained a search warrant to collect evidence from Lewis, but the suspect allegedly did not cooperate, became combative, and tried to keep officers from taking fingernail clippings for sampling.

Lewis is charged with felony interference with a dead body or scene of death – conceal body in Olmsted County and two counts of second-degree murder in Hennepin County, according to court records. She is being held on $1 million bail.

When asked whether the incident may have been motivated by anti-trans bias or a hate crime, Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson said on Wednesday there is no indication it is, as both the suspect and the victim are transgender. Police have referred to Lewis with she/her pronouns, although her gender on court documents is listed as unknown.