College students found dead were longtime friends

PINE ISLAND, Minn. (AP) — Authorities in southeastern Minnesota say the two college students who died in an apparent murder-suicide had been acquaintances since elementary school.

Olmsted County Sheriff David Mueller says they believe 19-year-old Nicholas Roecker fatally shot his longtime friend, 18-year-old Kayla Koranda, before taking his own life near Pine Island Monday.

Mueller says family members tell investigators Koranda was visiting Roecker, who was dealing with depression. Koranda was found dead and Roecker was found wounded by family members in a shed at Roecker’s home in New Haven Township. The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1a0Ltdq ) says Roecker died at a Rochester hospital.

Roecker attended the University of Minnesota Duluth and Koranda went to the Twin Cities campus. The schools have been on winter break. Both graduated from Lourdes High School in Rochester last year. They also attended a Catholic grade school together in Rochester.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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