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Sheriff: Still unknown how Wyoming teen knew her killer

RAPID CITY, S.D. – 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 in the head 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, Michael Gavin Campbell, isn’t cooperating with investigators, but that they believe he drove to Moorcroft, Wyoming, to pick her up. Ritthaler, from Upton, Wyoming, was attending school at Moorcroft.

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

A probable cause affidavit in the case was sealed by the judge during Campbell’s initial court appearance last week.

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.

Campbell, whose name was released because he is being charged as an adult, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m.

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Rapid City, US
11:39 am, April 23, 2024
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Abigail Tweedy

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