Bethel M. Bekele kills Dollar Tree employee Keris L. Riebel with machete on New Year’s Day at Upper Sandusky, Ohio store. No known motive.
Bethel M. Bekele, 27, was taken into custody a few blocks away after fleeing an Upper Sandusky store where he was observed waving the weapon moments earlier.
Responding authorities said they found Keris L. Riebel, 22, dead at the scene, Fox News reported.
Investigations said that the attacker entered the store, approached Riebel, and struck her several times with a machete. Riebel was a cashier and was working at the time of the attack. It remained unclear what provoked the attack and whether the victim was known to her assailant.
Bethel M. Bekele, 27, of Upper Sandusky, was found outside of his vehicle parked in front of the Wyandot County Sheriff’s Office, according to Police Chief Jared Lucas. He said Bekele surrendered himself when approached by police.
First murder in community since 2001
A report via 10TV told of the victim being a newly wed.
With those who knew her describing her as an ‘amazing, kind and sweet young woman who lit up the world with her smile.’
Residents of the tight knit community say they are horrified by the loss. The murder was the first in the community since 2001.
‘It’s like terrifying to see something like this in Upper Sandunksky, because this is a nice community,’ local Jason Pierce told 10TV.
In a GoFundMe account set up to help Riebel’s husband, Jordan Riebel, with funeral expenses and lost wages to take time off to grieve, his aunt, Amber Geiser, wrote that the two “were newlyweds who had a bright future ahead of them.
‘Anyone who met the two could see how much love and adoration they had for each other,’ she wrote.
‘Keris was a beautiful soul and anyone who met her would say how sweet and kind she was,’ she wrote.
Newly wed couple were looking forward to having babies
Riedel had just graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources.
‘She was looking forward to starting her career,’ she wrote.
‘Jordan and Keris were also looking forward to having children and most recently a puppy and starting their new lives together,’ she said.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation along with the Wyandot County Major Crimes Unit have since begun an investigation. Bekele has been booked under the charge of murder with, upon completion of the investigation, more charges likely incoming.