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Menahga man indicted on murder charges in strangulation death

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A Hubbard County grand jury has indicted a man on murder charges in the strangulation death of 19-year-old Kiela Knowles.

Harley Leritz, 21, of Menahga, is accused of first- and second-degree murder.

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Hubbard County prosecutors presented the case to the grand jury, which returned the two-count indictment Thursday. The indictment replaces a criminal complaint that was filed earlier.

Police said surveillance video showed Leritz going in and out of Knowles’ apartment in Park Rapids several times Feb. 23. The two, who attended Park Rapids Area High School, had just reconnected through Facebook.

The morning of Feb. 24, Knowles’ father found her dead in her apartment. She was in bed with a pillow over her head, police said.

Leritz was arraigned Thursday, and his bail was set at $1.5 million without conditions and $1 million with conditions. His next court appearance is slated for July 7.

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