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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Jill Oliveira  651-793-2726
jill.oliveira@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2014
Menahga Man to be Charged in Strangulation Death

​ST. PAUL — A Menahga man is expected to be charged this week in Hubbard County District Court with murdering a 19-year-old woman in her Park Rapids home. Harley David Leritz, DOB 1/16/93, 14477 County Highway 47 in Menahga, was booked into the Hubbard County Jail on Monday night.

Early Tuesday, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner identified the victim as Kiela Gem Knowles, DOB 10/9/94, 113 Third Street in Park Rapids. The medical examiner determined Knowles died of asphyxiation by strangulation due to homicide.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Park Rapids Police Department and the Hubbard and Becker County sheriff’s offices are investigating the crime. Police at 7:10 a.m. Monday responded to a 911 call of a deceased female under suspicious circumstances in the upper apartment at 113 Third Street in Park Rapids. Upon arrival officers discovered Knowles inside the home.

Investigators identified Leritz as a suspect in the homicide. Leritz was the last person seen with Knowles prior to her death. Leritz provided information during an interview with investigators that led to his arrest.

This remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation. The Hubbard County Attorney’s Office is bringing charges in this case.

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