Kirkegaard's brother outraged after repeat offender arrested - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Kirkegaard's brother outraged after repeat offender arrested for murder

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Christopher Kryger from his prior arrest for rape in 2008 Christopher Kryger from his prior arrest for rape in 2008

"He took my sister's life, he choked her, and I'll do the same thing to him if he gets out again...I will hunt him down myself and kill him," said Brian Johnson.

These strong words from the brother of Kari Kirkegaard as police arrest repeat offender Christopher Kryger for her rape and murder.

Nearly two weeks after Kirkegaard's brutal death in her Sioux Falls home, police have made an arrest.

Christopher Kryger is behind bards, held on multiple counts of murder, rape and burglary charges.

Kryger has been labeled a habitual criminal by the state and has a rap sheet spanning 22 years, a history Kirkegaard's family and friends find most upsetting.

Kryger was recently paroled on an early release from prison for committing a very similar crime in 2008. Kirkegaard's brother Brian Johnson says he can't help but think his sister's death could have been avoided.

"I can't believe this guy keeps getting let out of the system. I'm not mad at the police department or anything like that—it's the probation system and the parole system letting this guy out. He's a violent criminal; he should have been convicted of the rapes and things he's done in the past, then he would have been on the sex offender list and people could have kept track of him better, but here he just went through the system," said Brian Johnson.

People living in Kirkegaard's neighborhood are relieved police have the suspect in custody, but they're hoping he doesn't slip through the cracks this time.

"I just hope they don't let him out again, because obviously this is a trend and some of those people just can never change, it may not even be his fault, but he shouldn't be out in society where he can hurt other people," said Kirkegaard's neighbor Cyrene Davis.

"That's scary that he was out on the streets...hopefully he'll be in jail forever now after doing something like this, its horrible that somebody had to suffer though because of that," said Calisa Squires.

"I just can't believe its my sister out of all the people in this town it was my sister, it wouldn't make it any better if it was someone else's sister but it was my sister and its hard for me to take…I think we're all still in shock—my wife and I can't sleep at night," said Johnson.

Johnson says Kirkegaard was an amazing sister, aunt and mother, and can't imagine life without her.

"She was a loving person, she loved being with the family and doing family things. We were all looking forward to having her out to the cabin this year—we were all looking forward to that and then this bastard had to take her from us, for no reason at all," said Johnson. "It's hard for me to think that she's not going to be at any more of our Christmas or thanksgiving or anything and our get togethers and I want this guy to pay."

It's important to remember that Kryger is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Police say they do have DNA evidence linking Kryger to the Crime scene. Kirkegaard's family says if he is found guilty, they hope the court will deliver the maximum penalty.

Christopher Kryger's adult criminal record begins in 1992 with convictions in grand theft, aggravated assault and arson when he was just 18 years old.

Just three months after he was paroled in 2008, Kryger was arrested on burglary, kidnapping and rape chares. He broke into a 22-year old woman's apartment in Sioux Falls and brutally beat and raped her. Police said he chose that victim at random.

Kryger was put on parole again and spent the past several years in and out of custody on charges including simple assault, domestic violence and violating protection orders.

He was out on parole at the time of Kirkegaard's murder and is now charged with three counts of murder, two counts of rape and two counts of burglary.

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