A missing 16-year-old Moorcroft girl is believed to have been found and a 17-year-old boy has been arrested after the girl was found dead in his basement in South Dakota.
Shayna Ritthaler had been missing from her home since Oct. 3 and was found in the boy’s home near Sturgis after Meade County Sheriff’s Office deputies and agents from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation searched the home at the request of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, which was working with Moorcroft police to locate the girl.
Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin hasn’t confirmed the cause of death and said he isn’t sure if the girl and boy knew each other. He also said a definitive identification is pending, but the body is believed to be that of Ritthaler.
Her body was discovered in the basement bedroom of a house in Blucksberg, South Dakota, according to various South Dakota media reports. Authorities were at the house with a search warrant after an investigation into Ritthaler’s disappearance led them there.
Although a cause of death hasn’t been released by law enforcement, a post on Ritthaler’s mother’s Facebook page said Tuesday that “she was found last night, shot.”
Ritthaler was last seen Oct. 3 at the Coffee Cup in Moorcroft, and then walking in the Sturgis or Deadwood, South Dakota, areas shortly after being reported missing, according to a report by television station KNBN.