STILLWATER, Minn. - Criminal charges have been filed against a man who authorities say fatally lost his girlfriend off the back of his motorcycle at freeway speeds, then fled the scene.
Myles Wyatt Eckman of St. Paul faces two separate counts of criminal vehicular homicide, one for being negligent and under the influence of alcohol and drugs, the other for leaving the scene of an accident.
The criminal complaint details how State Troopers were dispatched early the morning of November 18, 2016, to a scene on I-35W near Highway 97 in Forest Lake. There they found the body of a lifeless female, later identified as Ena Bhatia, laying face down on the right shoulder of the freeway. She was dressed in brown Carhartt-like clothing. A witness told troopers he was driving on I-35W when he passed a motorcycle on the side of the road, with a person standing next to a brown object he thought was a deer.
Investigators accessed traffic cameras, which showed the victim falling off the back of a motorcycle at 4:38 a.m. that morning. Three minutes later the driver circles back to the scene, then takes off again.
Around 10 a.m. Anoka County authorities received a call from someone who had witnessed a man trying to push a motorcycle into a pond in the town of Columbus. That man, the 24-year-old Eckman, was taken into custody after being found hiding in a pole barn. He smelled of alcohol and asked if his girlfriend was OK. His Harley Davidson Motorcycle was pulled from the pond.
When questioned by investigators Eckman reportedly admitted to drinking that night, and smoking both marijuana and methamphetamine recently. Authorities say he also admitted to knowing that Bhatia had fallen off the back of his motorcycle. A blood test showed that Eckman had THC, amphetamine and methamphetamine in his system.
An autopsy showed that Bhatia died of multiple traumatic injuries. She tested positive for methamphetamine, and had a BAC of .26.