Weather Forecast


Search continues for 3 men missing on Lake of the Woods


Menahga, Minn., man arrested in death of 19-year-old Park Rapids woman

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
News Grand Forks,North Dakota 58203
Grand Forks Herald
(701) 780-1123 customer support
Menahga, Minn., man arrested in death of 19-year-old Park Rapids woman
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

PARK RAPIDS, Minn. -- A Menahga man has been arrested in the death of a 19-year-old woman Monday morning at a Park Rapids apartment complex.


Harley David Leritz, 21, was taken into custody Monday and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday on charges relating to the death of Kiela Knowles at the Park Rapids Middle School apartments.

The Hubbard County Sheriff’s Department is assisting Park Rapids police with the investigation. Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes said he could not give out any information about the case.

Friend Lori Holder said Knowles died by asphyxiation due to strangulation, and that Knowles knew Leritz but the two were not dating.

Leritz has a criminal record. He was charged with a sex crime involving a minor and was convicted of a felony in 2012.

Knowles has a 2-year-old son.

A radio call Monday morning reported a “female not breathing” and asked for an ambulance. Minutes later the ambulance was canceled.

A truck from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was parked in front of the building later Monday morning. A car was towed from the parking lot at 4:30 p.m.

Holder said Knowles was a single mom who "would give you the shirt off her back."

"She was joyful," Holder said. "She was always there when people needed her."

Police have been critical of the apartment complex in the past, indicating they spend an inordinate amount of time there. But manager LouAnn Rech has been working to clean up the building and evict tenants in trouble with the law.

Litchfield-based Stix & Brix Inc. is the named owner. Scott Rech heads the corporation.

Forum News Service
The Forum Communications News Service is the premier news wire service covering the Upper Midwest, stretching from the oilfields of western North Dakota to the plains of South Dakota and to the shores of eastern Minnesota. For more information about the services we offer or to discuss content subscriptions, please contact us.