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Investigators Detail What Led To Arrest In Kirkegaard Murder

March 28, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Investigators Detail What Led To Arrest In Kirkegaard Murder
Kari Kirkegaard

SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Family, friends and neighbors of Kari Kirkegaard had all wondered when this day would come, and at 2 p.m. on Friday, their hopes for a possible resolution were answered.

"I am very pleased today to report that after a lengthy investigation, an arrest has been made in the rape and murder of Kari Kirkegaard," Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel said.

Police arrested 40-year-old Christopher Kryger thanks to surveillance video from the nearby Islamic Center and phone calls from the public.

"One of those CrimeStoppers tips actually named Mr. Kryger as a person who was known to be in the area, and somebody that we might want to talk to," Sioux Falls Police Lt. Matt Burns said.

Investigators spoke with Kryger last Thursday and were able to connect him with items collected from the home, but it wasn't until DNA results provided them with enough evidence to move forward.

"The forensic evidence was submitted to the DCI lab in Pierre, and through their expert analysis, we are at the result we are at today which enabled us to make this arrest," Lt. Burns said.

"Thanks to the hard work and tenacity of the Sioux Falls Police Department, specifically their Crimes Against Persons detective unit, my office was able to file a seven-count criminal complaint today," Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan said.

Those charges include three alternate counts of first degree murder, two counts of second and third degree rape and two counts of burglary in the first degree.

Kryger's connection to Kirkegaard is still unclear, but investigators believe that the violence against Kirkegaard was a random act.

"We're still, that's part of the broader investigation, we're still working to look at those links. It appears that's the case, there's been no specific link established," Lt. Burns said.

Kryger does have a criminal past. He was arrested in 2008 in connection to a sexual assault but was eventually released and placed on parole. Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan would not go into detail about what punishment his office would be seeking for Kryger.

Kryger's first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

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