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Authorities surround vacant Eureka laundromat in search of suspect in fatal shootings

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, at 9:28 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, at 1:40 p.m.

For several hours, law enforcement authorities in Greenwood County surrounded an abandoned laundromat in Eureka on Monday night, briefly acknowledging to local media they did so in connection to homicide suspect Kevin Welsh.

Eureka Herald editor Robin Wunderlich said early Monday night that some people within the largely residential area were able to stay in their homes while others closer to the old building were asked to leave. But by 10 p.m., most of the law enforcement vehicles had been withdrawn and people were allowed back into the area.

Wunderlich said Greenwood County Sheriff Charles “Rusty” Bitler spoke briefly Monday night to media, saying any further information about the case would come through the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. Messages left with the attorney general’s office Monday night were not returned.

Law enforcement authorities have been seeking Welsh since the Oct. 2 shooting deaths of Keith and Sheila Kriesel, both of Eureka, and the wounding of their daughter. Last week, Gov. Sam Brownback issued a $5,000 reward for information leading to Welsh’s arrest.

Before the shootings, the 35-year-old Welsh was out on $50,000 bond on charges in Greenwood County that included kidnapping and aggravated assault. He was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 29.

Funeral services for the Kriesels were held Saturday in Eureka.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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