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Brother: Purse Also Taken From Kirkegaard's Home

March 18, 2014, 5:32 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Brother: Purse Also Taken From Kirkegaard's Home
Kari Kirkegaard


Family members of Kari Kirkegaard are joining police in asking for the public's help in solving the most recent Sioux Falls homicide.

Kirkegaard was found dead Sunday night and police need your help finding the sheets and comforter that are missing from her bed.

The last time anyone saw Kirkegaard was Friday night when she ate at the Pizza Ranch on 41st Street with family members.

Police believe she died sometime on Saturday and when no one heard from her over the weekend, family members went to her home.

Officers have been searching that central Sioux Falls home since Sunday night, trying to figure out who might be responsible for her death.

Brian Johnson says he has no idea why anyone would want to kill his sister.

"I just can't imagine anyone wanting to hurt her. I just find it hard to believe," Johnson said.

Johnson says his sister was found dead in her bathtub with the water running Sunday night. They first thought it was an accident, but after authorities left the scene the first time, relatives noticed her purse was gone.

"They went to lock up the house and realized there was no purse and no keys. So then my nephew, which is Kari's son, called the police department again and they came right back out and brought detectives and then we found numerous things that were wrong," Johnson said.

Inside the house, Johnson says Kirkegaard's bedding was missing and there were no towels, bath mats or waste baskets, which were usually in her bathroom.

Johnson says his sister was a single mother who loved spending time with her only son, who was recently engaged.

"In fact, she was looking forward to her son, who was going to get married here in the next year, and she was looking forward to that," Johnson said.

He can't imagine anyone having ill-will against Kirkegaard, who just celebrated being cancer free.

"She had just been a survivor of breast cancer and she was just getting better from that and then this had to happen," Johnson said.

Johnson says the fact that police believe his sister's death is a homicide, and not an accident, makes her loss even harder to accept.

"I think I could have handled it better if I would have known that she maybe died from an accident, but to have some prick - excuse the language - kill her is more than I can handle," Johnson said.

Because, Johnson says, this sister, mother and cancer survivor will be dearly missed by family and friends.

The Kari Kirkegaard Memorial Fund has been set up at CorTrust Bank on South Minnesota Avenue.

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