‘That could have been my daughter’: Mother of teen murder suspect’s ex-girlfriend speaks out
While the Valley community is trying to process the disturbing details of a Palmer teen’s murder, a mother who says her daughter dated the teen suspect is speaking out.
Court documents released on Monday revealed the chilling details of 16-year-old David Grunwald’s murder, saying he was beaten, kidnapped, and walked into the woods before he was killed with a single bullet. Grunwald was missing for nearly a month before his body was recovered Friday from a remote location off of Knik River Road, and 16-year-old Erick Almandinger was arraigned as an adult on murder and kidnapping charges.
Palmer mother Gena Miracle remembers learning her daughter was dating Almandinger. She said she didn’t like it.
“I even spoke with [his mother] and said you know, ‘My daughter is grounded. I know our kids are dating, that’s fine, but she’s grounded, so Erick needs to not come to my house,’ and within 24 hours later, at 3 o’clock in the morning, he was in my house, downstairs,” she recalled.
Miracle said her daughter was not without fault in continuing the relationship, but Almandinger was angry and controlling. He would threaten to harm her daughter, and on two occasions he did.
“The school counselor even told her that he has a scary obsession with her,” Miracle said.
She said a 20-day restraining order against Almandinger put an end to the relationship in July. At the time, it was a relief, but now she says it could have saved her daughter’s life.
“My heart just bleeds for the Grunwald family because no parent deserves to see their children in that shape or form, and the only thing I thought was, ‘That could have been my girl. That could have been my girl because of the relationship that they had and how scary it was,'” Miracle said.
Her daughter — who KTVA has chosen not to identify at Miracle’s request — is in a difficult situation. Her mother said not only is Almandinger her ex-boyfriend, but Grunwald was her friend.
As of Monday evening, all photos of Almandinger were removed from his Facebook profile, including an image showing Almandinger making a hand signal, captioned, “Gang gang.” On a Sound Cloud profile matching his Facebook account, it appears he recorded a rap song. The lyrics brag about gang affiliations saying, “You know I’m a real Crip,” as well as being a drug dealer, and, “Hey I be ready to f***ing pull it, put my finger on it click, click, click.”
“I knew that he was a very mixed-up kid,” Miracle said.
Her daughter said she wants the Grunwald family to know, “I’m sorry it was their baby who got killed, and I want justice for David.”
The court documents mention multiple people — teens and an adult who had information about what happened to Grunwald and stayed silent for weeks — but Almandinger is the only person currently facing charges in the case.
Efforts to contact Almandinger’s family for comment have been unsuccessful.
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