SUNDANCE (WNE) — Michael Campbell of Sturgis, South Dakota, appeared in court Wednesday, charged with murder in the second degree after a body was discovered in his home that was believed to be that of missing Upton resident Shayna Ritthaler.

Ritthaler disappeared on Oct. 3. Moorcroft Police Department quickly asked for the public’s help in providing information about the 16-year-old, who was last seen entering a black vehicle at the Coffee Cup in Moorcroft at around 12:36 p.m. The department later received information that suggested Ritthaler was in the Lead and Deadwood, South Dakota, area or near Sturgis.

On Oct. 7, Meade County Sheriff’s Office released a statement that a search warrant had been served on a residence in Blucksberg, bear Sturgis. Agents from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation were also involved in the search.

According to the press release, the search was based on information received from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, which had been working with the Deadwood and Moorcroft police departments. The body of a young female was discovered in a basement bedroom at the residence and was believed to be that of Ritthaler. A juvenile suspect was taken into custody and transported to the Juvenile Services Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.

At that time, the suspect’s name was not released to the public. However, the 17-year-old’s identity was revealed on Wednesday when he made his initial court appearance in Meade County before Judge Kevin Krull.

According to reports from KBHB Radio, Campbell is to be charged as an adult with murder in the second degree. Judge Krull granted a motion that will seal the affidavit of probable cause, meaning that details of the case beyond the charges will not be made available at this time.

Campbell will be held in lieu of $1 million cash or surety bond.


From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers