Girl, 13, stabbed to death in Saline County

08/01/2014 2:46 PM

08/08/2014 10:26 AM

Emergency medical technicians were sent to the Parkway Avenue Salina home of Saline County Sheriff's Officer Lt. Sean Kochanowski about 1:20 a.m. Friday to treat a teenage girl suspected of stabbing to death her 13-year-old sister, according to emergency radio traffic.

EMTs then were sent to 7584 W. Remington to treat a possible stabbing victim, and the dispatcher reported that the victim was not breathing.

"We were advised by the mother that the subject on Parkway is the one that stabbed her sister on Remington Road," the dispatcher could be heard saying.

Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski, the father of Sean Kochanowski, released very little information about the incident Friday morning, and he would not say whether authorities had a suspect in custody.

"When officers arrived (about 1:45 a.m., on Remington Road), they found Galazia Niehaus, a 13-year-old young lady, had been stabbed to death," Glen Kochanowski said.

He said the Kansas Bureau of Investigation had been asked to assist with the investigation.

Kochanowski said that any additional information about the incident would come from the Saline County Attorney's Office. Calls Friday to the county attorney were not returned.

Reached Friday evening at his home, Sean Kochanowski declined comment.

The first emergency radio traffic related to the incident was logged about 1:20 a.m., when the call was received about the woman on Parkway Avenue who had suffered a hand injury during "some type of battery situation" at Sundowner West. Sean Kochanowski lives on Parkway Avenue.

A review of Facebook posts suggests that the stabbing victim, Galazia Niehaus, and her sister, Sierra Niehaus, were friends with Sean Kochanowski's daughter.

Asked about the connection to the Kochanowski family, Mark Malick, a special agent in charge with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, said, "From what I understand, there isn't a conflict. It's very explainable. The KBI has nothing to do with that part of the investigation. The KBI was not called in for any conflict of interest with this case. It was simply for crime scene response."

He said Sean Kochanowski's home was not considered a crime scene.

A few minutes after the initial dispatch, EMTs were sent to 7584 W. Remington for a possible stabbing. At 1:29 a.m., a dispatcher broadcast that there had been a stabbing at the home, and that the victim was not breathing.

A dispatcher later said, "The victim has been stabbed numerous times in the back," and that the victim was stabbed by her sister, Sierra.

She also related that the girl's parents were with her at the family home and that they were performing CPR.

At one point, a deputy is heard saying, "The suspect, Sierra, left this residence in a gold Chrysler van with Graham County tags on it." It's not clear if he is saying she left the residence on Remington Road or the residence on Parkway in the van.

Just after he made that statement, the dispatcher confirmed that Sierra was with a deputy.

Authorities on Friday morning were investigating a gold Chrysler van that appeared to have been abandoned across from Jerry Ivey Park. Several KBI investigators were taking photos of the van and of objects on the ground near the van. It appeared that the vehicle had been abandoned with its driver's door open. It was parked near the Salina South High School softball field, facing south.

Malick confirmed that the van was related to the stabbing incident.

Investigators also were at the Niehaus home, which is in the Sundowner West housing addition, north of Interstate Highway 70, throughout the day Friday.

At 7 a.m. Friday, two sheriff's deputies were outside the Niehaus home and crime scene tape had been strung around the yard.

At about 8:30 a.m., a KBI crime scene truck arrived, and several KBI personnel entered the home.

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