Body of missing Moorcroft teen found in South Dakota basement

17-year-old male arrested in connection to discovery of Shayna Ritthaler's body

Shayna Ritthaler (Meade County Sheriff’s Office photo)

Moorcroft, Wyoming — A body believed to be a 16-year-old girl who went missing from Moorcroft last week was found on Monday, Oct. 7 in the basement of a South Dakota home, according to a Meade County Sheriff’s Office media post.


The body of missing Wyoming teenager Shayna Ritthaler was discovered in a basement bedroom after Meade County Sheriff’s Office along with agents from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation served a search warrant at residence located in Blucksberg near Sturgis, South Dakota. The search was done based on information received from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, which had been working with the Deadwood Police Department and the Moorcroft Police Department in Wyoming.

A 17-year-old juvenile suspect was taken into custody and is being housed at the Juvenile Services Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. Criminal charges are pending.

Cause of death has not been confirmed, and an autopsy is scheduled later this week.


Due to ages of the parties involved, names are not being released at this time.

Ritthaler went missing on Oct. 3. She was last seen at the Coffee Cup in Moorcroft, but was also seen walking in the Sturgis or Deadwood, South Dakota, areas after being reported missing, according to a report by television station KNBN.