Park Rapids Murder Suspect Appears In Court - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Park Rapids Murder Suspect Appears In Court

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Harley Leritz, 21 Harley Leritz, 21

Latest Update:

The man accused of murdering a 19-year-old Park Rapids woman will remain in jail, after making his first appearance in court.

Harley Leritz has been charged with second degree murder, and today a judge set bail at $1.5 million.

But Leritz will technically be held without bond because of a probation violation.

Police say Leritz admitting to killing Kiela Knowles, whose body was found in her park rapids apartment Monday morning.

Investigators say it appears Leritz strangled Knowles, and two met on Facebook and may have been romantically involved just before her death.

Original Story:

One man is in custody after police say he admitted to killing a Park Rapids, Minnesota, woman. Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers tells Valley News Live 19-year-old Kiela Knowles died late Sunday night, early Monday morning.

"The father stopped by on his way to work and walked in and discovered the body in the apartment," Chief Eilers explains, "He called the police department we sent some people over and secured the crime scene because she was obviously dead."

Chief Eilers says Harley Leritz, a 21-year-old from Mehahga, Minnesota, admitted to the killing and is currently in custody.  Police say the two recently met online.

"These two were acquaintances is my understanding, met on Facebook and seemed to get together and hook up and something when certainly desperately wrong." Eilers said.

Early Tuesday, the autopsy report was returned from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner. They determined Knowles died of asphyxiation by strangulation.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Park Rapids Police Department and the Hubbard and Becker County sheriff's offices are investigating the crime.

This remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation. The Hubbard County Attorney's Office is bringing charges in this case. Leritz will appear in court on Wednesday for the charges relating to Knowles' death.

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