Authorities won’t say how Monroe County woman died. Her nephew, 15, charged with murder

The circumstances that allegedly led a 15-year-old boy to kill his aunt in Monroe County earlier this week have yet to be publicly divulged.

At an initial appearance hearing here Friday morning for the accused teen, Dante A. Krieger, no new details emerged in the Sunday slaying of 42-year-old Tryeflue Larra O’Neal.

With his hands and feet shackled, Krieger, dressed in khaki pants and a navy polo shirt, entered Monroe Superior Court, his eyes avoiding news cameras as he was led inside.

When Judge Tommy Wilson asked Krieger if he was the person named in a murder warrant, Krieger replied, “Yes sir.”

Authorities have publicly declined to say how O’Neal died.

When asked later by a reporter what might have prompted the slaying, Monroe Sheriff Brad Freeman told The Telegraph, “We don’t know. At this point, we don’t know.”

O’Neal was found dead at her home at 240 Tingle Road, which sits just northeast of High Falls State Park, about four miles from Interstate 75.

The sheriff said Krieger stole an automobile belonging to his foster parents or guardians near Covington sometime Sunday before driving south to O’Neal’s house, killing her and apparently randomly driving to South Carolina in O’Neal’s truck.

It was there, in Chester County, north of Columbia, that authorities say Krieger was taken into custody. It wasn’t clear why he was arrested there, but officials on Friday said “due to information” Krieger told officers in South Carolina on Sunday, deputies back in Georgia were alerted to check on O’Neal.

No bond was set for Krieger. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for July 30.

Joe Kovac Jr. covers crime and courts for The Telegraph with an eye for human-interest stories. A Warner Robins native, he joined the paper in 1991 after graduating from the University of Georgia.