RAPID CITY, S.D. — A 17-year-old boy who lives near Sturgis faces criminal charges after a teen believed to be a missing girl from Wyoming was found dead Monday in his basement.
The suspect lives in Blucksberg near Sturgis, according to Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin. He was arrested and booked into the juvenile jail in Rapid City. The Meade County State's Attorney did not immediately return a message asking if she has decided on what crimes to charge the teen with.
According to the sheriff's office, the victim is believed to be Shayna Ritthaler, a 16-year-old who went missing from Moorcroft, Wyoming, on Oct. 3. The body was found after deputies and agents with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation searched the suspect's house, according to a Facebook post from the sheriff's office. The search was requested by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, which had been working with the Deadwood Police Department and the Moorcroft Police Department in Wyoming.
Merwin said he's not yet sharing the cause of death and that an autopsy is scheduled for later this week. He said he's not sure whether the suspect and victim knew each other.
The Moorcroft Police Department said it could not yet comment on whether Ritthaler was kidnapped and the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office did not immediately return a message asking if it knew Ritthaler was in the home.
Ritthaler was last seen getting into a dark Jeep-like vehicle around 12:36 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Coffee Cup in Moorcroft, according to a Facebook post by the city's police department. The department later said the vehicle she got into was found and the owner was not involved in the case. It also said Ritthaler may have dyed her hair black and been in the Northern Hills area.