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Arrest Made In Murder Of Kari Kirkegaard

March 28, 2014, 6:08 PM

Arrest Made In Murder Of Kari Kirkegaard
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Friday afternoon, Sioux Falls Police arrested 40-year-old Christopher Dean Kryger and charged him with multiple crimes related to the death of 56-year-old Kari Kirkegaard, including first degree murder, rape and burglary.

Video taken from the Islamic Center just two doors down from Kirkegaard's home helped lead to the arrest of the man officers say is responsible for her murder.

Court documents say after seeing this video on the news, a tipster called investigators and said that Christopher Kryger was known to ride his bike through the area wearing a similar plaid jacket.

Authorities called Kryger and a man who drove Kryger to a police interview said the he 'had seen him on TV' but Kryger said he 'had an alibi' and that he had burned his flannel shirt.

Kryger told police he spent the night at his girlfriend's house.

A search warrant was issued last week and investigators obtained DNA from Kryger, and Friday when the results came in, the DNA from Kryger matched the DNA found in the rape kit used on Kirkegaard.

Kryger is no stranger to authorities. Before Friday's arrest, he was on parole. One of his most recent convictions was a 2008 sexual assault in Sioux Falls. He pleaded guilty to that crime.

Shortly after Kryger's arrest, investigators met with Kirkegaard's family to tell them the news.

Since the discovery of Kirkegaard's body in her home, the entire neighborhood quickly joined together to try to help find the person responsible, and also to be a support system for the family in their time of need. After two vigils held to remember Kirkegaard, all the family and the neighborhood wanted was for investigators to solve the crime. Now, after Kryger's arrest, that process of offering justice can begin.

"Our folks worked tirelessly on this in cooperation with the State's Attorney's office and many others, the state lab, others across the state. This was something they dedicated a ton of time to," Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel said.

"The public assistance was instrumental. The tips we received through CrimeStoppers led us to our first contact with Mr. Kryger," Sioux Falls Police Lt. Matt Burns said.

Even with the arrest, a broader investigation is still ongoing. Bond has been set at $1 million and Kryger is expected in court on Monday.

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