Authorities: Pine Island college students were longtime friends - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Authorities: Pine Island college students found dead were longtime friends

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Kayla Koranda Kayla Koranda
Nicholas Roecker Nicholas Roecker

PINE ISLAND, Minn. (KTTC) -- Authorities in Olmsted County say the two college students who died in an apparent murder-suicide near Oronoco 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 Oronoco 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 at 6948 100th Street Northwest at about 4:30 p.m. Monday. Officials said Tuesday 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 grade school together in Rochester.

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