Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Walhalla, ND: Thanksgiving Day tragedy: Murder-suicide in a small North Dakota town

November 30, 4:51 PMKittson County Top News ExaminerKen Korczak

Pembina County, North Dakota, was the site of a Thanksgiving Day murder-suicide.

How could this happen here? That's what the residents of this tiny town on the remote northern plains of North Dakota are asking.

On Thanksgiving day, a man grabbed a hand gun and murdered his wife, then turned the weapon on himself and snuffed out his own life -- leaving their two children behind to try and make sense of the rest of their lives.

The peaceful, conservative town of Walhalla, North Dakota, was the scene of this tragedy over the Thanksgiving holiday as John J. Kalis, 52, and his wife, Sharon Kalis, 41, were found both shot to death in their home by Pembina County police.

Police have called the deaths an apparent murder suicide. They received a 911 phone call from the residence about a domestic dispute, but when they arrived, the incident had already elevated to a horrific end.

An autopsy today, Nov. 30, confirmed the murder-suicide scenario. Police said they had been called a number of times in the past to the Kalis home to respond to domestic dispute complaints.

Sharon Kalis was a long-time employee in a local Walhalla restaurant, where she was extremely popular and well-liked by the regulars. She was known for loving her job, and for being able to anticipate the needs of her customers.

Walhalla is a town of about 1,000 people in North Dakota's northwestern-most corner.

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