Sheriff: Still unknown how Wyoming teen knew her killer

South Dakota News Wyoming News October 15, 2019

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Sheriff: Still unknown how Wyoming teen knew her killer

RAPID CITY, SD. (AP) — The South Dakota sheriff overseeing the investigation into the killing of a Wyoming teen says detectives are still trying to find out how she met the 17-year-old charged with shooting her in his basement.

Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin said Tuesday that 16-year-old Shayna Ritthaler was shot once by the defendant, who is charged as an adult with second-degree murder but whose lawyer is trying to get the case moved to juvenile court.

Merwin says the defendant isn’t cooperating with investigators, but that they believe he drove to Ritthaler’s hometown of Moorcroft, Wyoming, to pick her up, before returning to his home near Sturgis.

He says among other things, the victim’s and defendant’s cellphones are being examined for possible clues.

Authorities say Ritthaler’s body was found Oct. 7 in the basement of the defendant’s home, where he lived with his mother. Prosecutors say the defendant shot Ritthaler during an argument.

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