Gin Berry, 16, has known Erick Almandinger since the third grade, long before he was charged with murder. She became better friends with him in high school, along with the four other teenagers recently charged in connection to 16-year-old David Grunwald’s murder.


“They were actually really sweet,” she said of the five teen boys. “They were always there for you. You would have never expected them to be the ones to do anything like this.”


Her mother said at first, Berry was in denial about her friends’ potential involvement. Yet once it became apparent to Berry that they might be responsible, she decided to contact investigators.


She said she worked with Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Tony Wegzyn, one of the investigators in the case, to help authorities track down the suspects. In at least one instance, Berry said she asked a suspect to buy her cigarettes at a gas station, where troopers were waiting to arrest him.


“They always knew that if they could not find any of the boys, to come straight to me and I would have them within a matter of hours,” Berry explained.


Friday, the day four of the five teens were arrested, she posted a video online of her discussing her decision.


“I knew you were watching over me when I was scared,” Berry said of Grunwald, who she never knew personally.


Berry’s mother said her daughter’s choice was a brave sacrifice.


“She lost some friends,” Tasha Buxton said. “These boys… she thought they were her friends.”


Berry said some have accused her of failing to remain loyal to her friends.


“I’ve been told many times that I betrayed these people, but that’s what you have to do when you want to make things right,” she said.


The five teens charged in the case are scheduled to appear in court in Palmer Monday morning:



  • Erick Almandinger, 16 – first–degree murder, kidnapping, tampering with physical evidence and three counts of second-degree murder

  • Dominic Johnson, 16 – first–degree murder, kidnapping, tampering with physical evidence and three counts of second-degree murder

  • Devin Peterson, 18 – first–degree hindering prosecution and three counts of tampering with physical evidence

  • Austin Barrett, 19 – first–degree murder, kidnapping and three counts of second-degree murder

  • Bradley Renfro, 16 – first–degree murder, kidnapping, tampering with physical evidence and three counts of second-degree murder


KTVA 11’s Eric Ruble can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.


Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Bradley Renfro’s name. This has been corrected.


The post Wasilla teen says she helped troopers find Grunwald murder suspects appeared first on KTVA 11.