Former Detective To See Moeller's Execution
by Ashley Kringen, Reporter
October 29, 2012 9:51 PM
On Tuesday night, Donald Moeller is scheduled to die by lethal injection at the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.
Moeller will be faced with his execution for the brutal murder of a nine-year-old girl back in 1990.
It was a few days after Becky O'Connell's body was found lifeless that former investigator, Mike Larsen followed up on a lead that didn't have a lot of meat to it, however, that lead, led him to Moeller as a prime suspect.
Now 22 years later, Larsen will witness Moeller die for his crime.
"It's a sense of relief that it's done, it's going to be done and that the sentence is going to be finally carried out for him," said Larsen.
Mike Larsen, a retired Sioux Falls Police Department Investigator said it's been a long road for him following a case that he labels one of the worst in Sioux Falls history.
"That somebody would take the liberty to grab this girl and do what he did to her and end her life the way he did, I had a lot of anger in me," said Larsen.
Becky O'Connell was nine-years-old, when she was last seen by her parents in Sioux Falls.
She left her home to buy candy at a nearby convenience store and never returned and the morning after, two men found her body in a ditch in Lincoln County.
Moeller had raped Becky and used a knife to make cuts all over her body; she later died after Moeller slit her throat.
Moeller's use of the knife is what Larsen was looking for when searching for suspects.
"If somebody was involved in a knife assault, perhaps they're very capable of committing another one," said Larsen.
Out of piles of past assault cases; Larsen had an odd feeling about one particular incident,
which caused him to act on it.
Larsen went to Moeller's address and left a message with his brothers asking Moeller to call him and an hour later, Moeller was on his way to the station.
"He had this stare, this really icy stare and I knew this guy had issues," said Larsen.
After questioning and voluntary DNA tests, Moeller had left town, but nine months later was arrested in Washington State.
For Larsen, he said he’d feel a sense of relief when Moeller takes his last breath.
"He won't be there to harm anybody else ever again," said Larsen.
This will be the second execution this month in South Dakota.
Eric Robert faced his death the beginning of October for the killing of a prison guard last April.
After Tuesday’s execution, there will be three inmates left on death row.
Moeller will be faced with his execution on Tuesday at 10p.m.