"She was looking forward to starting her career," the woman's aunt said.
A young Ohio Woman, 22, who had gotten married in October was allegedly killed by a machete-wielding man who came into the Dollar Tree store where she was working, according to police. On Sunday, Keris Riebel was working in the store at 1120 Wyandot Avenue in Upper Sandusky when a man identified as Bethel Bekele, 27, allegedly came in with a machete. Bekele allegedly "approached Riebel and struck her numerous times with the machete," a police press release stated.
The police raced to the scene at 4:25 p.m. after receiving a call that a man with a machete was inside the store and had struck an employee. According to Toledo Blade, Riebel had died by the time police arrived. Police said that the search for the suspect began immediately and they found him in the 100 block of South Fifth Street. They further revealed that Bekele had no previous criminal records.
According to WCBE reports, Bekele was in a parked car near the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office and surrendered when officers found him. He was arrested and charged with murder. The motives are still unclear and according to 10TV reports, the police are investigating if Riebel and Bekele knew each other. This brutal murder shocked the community. A resident Jason Pierce told 10TV, "It's terrifying to see something like this in Upper Sandusky because this is a nice community."
10TV also revealed that according to Upper Sandusky Municipal Court documents, the attack was random and unprovoked. The victim’s family is devastated by Riebel's death. They describe her as "an amazing, kind, and a sweet young woman who lit up the world with her smile", added 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. Keris was a beautiful soul and anyone who met her would say how sweet and kind she was."
Her name was Keris Riebel. pic.twitter.com/hlsF9f5mS7— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) January 4, 2023
Riebel had recently graduated from college with a Bachelor's degree in Human Resources. Her aunt added, "She was looking forward to starting her career." She continued, "Jordan and Keris were also looking forward to having children and most recently a puppy and starting their new lives together." However, this family "was ripped apart from the both of them in a matter of seconds."
Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Dollar Tree store employee 22-year-old Keris L. Riebel was attacked & murdered w/ a machete by 27-year-old Bethel Bekele on New Year's Day. Bekele entered the store w/ a machete & struck her multiple times. Weapon found at store along with Keris's dead body. pic.twitter.com/rnDqfk7AYo— Southern Man (@MagicBelle1) January 2, 2023
Wynford Local Schools, from which Riebel had graduated in 2019, called her "a beautiful soul, with a faith-filled heart. She exuded genuine kindness to everyone she met and her smile was unforgettable. Keris was taken way too soon and will forever live in the hearts of the Wynford Community."
On New Year’s Day, Bethel Bekele entered a Dollar Tree with a machete, approached Keris Riebel while she was working, and hacked her to death. Police don’t have a motive and, for some odd reason, this isn’t a national story.— Pedro L. Gonzalez (@emeriticus) January 2, 2023
I’m posting the family’s memorial fundraiser below. pic.twitter.com/4G1ZsxVtL4
Bekele is currently being held at Wood County jail in Bowling Green, roughly 40 miles north of Upper Sandusky - where cops said he has an address in an apartment complex.
When shown a picture of him, neighbors told Local outlet Dayton 24/7 that they recognized his face, but knew nothing about him, including his name. He is charged with one count of murder, with a court date yet to be set as of Tuesday.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe