David Haiman, Joseph Christen Thoresen
From left: David Haiman, Joseph Christen Thoresen Handout

A Minnesota man has decapitated his girlfriend's alleged rapist, authorities say. The suspect, identified as Joseph Thoresen, was charged with second-degree murder for the death of 20-year-old David Haiman.

According to prosecutors, Thoresen beat, stabbed and decapitated Haiman, whose head and torso were recovered from a wooded area of Itasca County, the local channel KARE reported. Police became aware of the murder case shortly before 24 June, when they attempted to pull over a speeding vehicle which turned into a car chase that reached speeds of over 90 mph (150kmh).

After sliding into two ditches, the vehicle finally came to a stop. According to CBS affiliate, WCCO, the driver, only identified as TMC, fled into the woods and was later arrested.

However, TMC claimed that Thoresen had forced him to flee police by pulling a knife on him. TMC told officers that Thoresen had admitted to him that he had killed the vehicle's owner days before.

Thoresen admitted hitting his victim over the head with a baseball bat, stabbing him in the lungs with a machete and then decapitating him. TMC said Thoresen then took the body into the woods.

Police discovered the vehicle belonged to Haiman, who had been reported missing. On 26 June, investigators questioned Thoresen in his apartment. Despite denying having had contact with the victim, Thoresen's text messages proved otherwise.

Investigators then spoke to Thoresen's girlfriend, identified as KDG, who told an officer a similar story about the murder. KDG told police the murder had occurred east of Deer River. Harman's torso and head were discovered later that day.

The suspect's girlfriend said prior to the killing, Thoresen told her Haiman was coming over. KDG, who admitted to being upset because Haiman had allegedly raped her, said she punched and kicked and tied up Haiman. The victim was then untied and subsequently beaten by Thoresen who repeatedly told him he should not have raped "my girl".

The couple then did drugs with Haiman, who began verbally abusing them, the criminal complaint said. Thoresen and Haiman argued and continued to do so after experiencing trouble with Haiman's vehicle, she told police. Then she said she saw Thoresen stab Haiman multiple times. As he asked for help, Thoresen allegedly grabbed a large knife from Haiman's belt loop and decapitated him.

Thoresen faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted. He is set to appear in court on 5 July and has bail set at $2m (£1.5m) without conditions and $1m (£750,000) with conditions.