RAPID CITY, S.D. — A 17-year-old boy could be charged as an adult after the body of a teenage girl who authorities believe was from Wyoming was found in a bedroom in the basement of his South Dakota home, officials said.
Investigators believe the girl found Monday at the home in Blucksberg near Sturgis is 16-year-old Shayna Ritthaler, of Moorcroft, Wyoming, who was reported missing Oct. 3, the Meade County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Moorcroft Police Department said it couldn’t comment on whether Ritthaler was kidnapped. Blucksberg is about 90 miles (145 kilometres) east of Moorcroft.
The boy was arrested and booked into the juvenile jail in Rapid City, said Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin. He will make an initial court appearance Wednesday morning at the Meade County Courthouse in Sturgis, acting Meade County state’s attorney Michele Bordewyk said.
Bordewyk hasn’t returned a phone message seeking information on possible charges.
Merwin said he couldn’t yet share details on how the girl died and that an autopsy was scheduled for later in the week. He told the Rapid City Journal he doesn’t know if the suspect and victim knew each other.
The body was found when deputies and agents from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation executed a search warrant on the request of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, which was working with investigators in Wyoming, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.
Bordewyk said the boy lived at the home with his mother and that he had recently moved there from Brookings.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com
The Associated Press