Kryger Sentenced Life In Prison, Victim’s Family Unsatisfied

Kari Kirkegaard, 56, was found dead in her home in Nov. 2014

Life in prison, that was the sentence handed down to a Sioux Falls man in a Minnehaha County courtroom this morning.

Back in November, a jury found 41-year-old Christopher Kryger guilty of rape, murder and burglary in the death of 56-year-old Kari Kirkegaard.

Family members of Kari Kirkegaard were happy to see Judge Mark Salter give Kryger life in prison, but they say even that won’t do Kari justice.

“This guy likes being in the penitentiary; he’s never had to work in his life and he’s never going to have to work again,” says Kari Kirkegaard’s brother, Brian Johnson.

He says life in prison isn’t harsh enough for Christopher Kryger.

“He’s the worst, pathetic prowler that was ever in Sioux Falls,” says Johnson. “He didn’t even know my sister. He just took it upon himself that he thought he could snuff somebody’s life out.”

56-year-old Kari Kirkegaard was found dead in her bathtub in March 2014.

During the investigation, Police retrieved video from a nearby mosque that showed a man riding a bike in the area.

Kryger’s then-girlfriend identified Kryger’s clothes in the video.

An autopsy confirmed that Kirkegaard had been strangled and DNA from a rape kit matched Kryger’s.

This led to a jury finding Kryger guilty of rape, murder and burglary in November 2015.

Today, a judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole, calling Kryger the greatest threat to the area.

“We’re going to go on with our lives now,” says Johnson. “I just hope that we can find some kind of peace.”

Peace that Kari’s son, Nick Kirkegaard says comes from the positive memories of her.

“She was always there as a single parent,” says Nick Kirkegaard. “She did both the parenting roles, she raised me well. I have nothing bad to say, she was the most loving person I can ever imagine.”

In court today, Kirkegaard’s brother Scott Johnson addressed Kryger saying”he disgusts me and makes him want to vomit.”

He also wanted Kryger to know how happy Kari was, how much of a fighter she was beating cancer, and how much her family loved her.

Kryger was also sentenced 50 years for rape and 25 years for burglary.