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Ohio Dollar Tree employee killed in machete attack; suspect arrested

Bethel Bekele is charged with the murder of Keris Riebel.

UPPER SANDUSKY, Ohio — A man is charged with murder after he allegedly attacked a dollar store employee with a machete in northwest Ohio Sunday afternoon. 

Officers with the Upper Sandusky Police Department were called to the Dollar Tree at 1120 East Wyandot Avenue for a report of a man waiving a machete around inside the store. 

Officers arrived at the store and found 22-year-old Keris Riebel dead at the scene. The man, who police identified as 27-year-old Bethel Bekele, left the store before police arrived. 

One of the officers found the suspect a short time later on South Fifth Street and arrested him. 

Investigators learned Bekele entered the store with the machete and struck Riebel multiple times. The weapon was found at the scene. 

Credit: Wyandot County Sheriff's Office

Police said the motive behind the fatal machete attack is unclear. Detectives are looking into whether Riebel and Bekele knew each other. Upper Sandusky Municipal Court documents say the attack was random and unprovoked.

10TV spoke with the victim’s family who said they are devastated by the loss of Riebel. They say she was a newlywed and describe her as "an amazing, kind and sweet young woman who lit up the world with her smile.”

Residents of the tight-knit community say they are horrified by this loss.

"It's like terrifying to see something like this in Upper Sandusky, because this is a nice community,” said resident Jason Pierce.

The Chief of Police Jason Lucas said nothing like this ever happens in Upper Sandusky. The last murder was in 2001.

The Wyandot County Major Crimes Unit is currently investigating the incident. Police said additional charges could be forthcoming once the investigation is complete. 

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