Hundreds expected at Friday vigil for slain Palmer teen

WASILLA — Organizers say they expect some 500 people to attend a Friday vigil for slain Palmer teen David Grunwald.

Grunwald, 16, was found murdered near the Knik River last Friday, after his parents reported him missing on Nov. 13 and weeks of fruitless searching ensued. Another teen in his social circle, 16-year-old Erick Almandinger, faces murder and kidnapping charges in his death. Prosecutors say others could face charges.

The vigil is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Borealis Theater at the Alaska State Fairgrounds. Grunwald's parents, Ben and Edie, plan to attend.

Edie Grunwald had planned to hold a prayer vigil last weekend before her son's body was found, according to Gina Spangler, a friend of the family who is organizing Friday's event.

The vigil for the community was Edie's idea, Spangler said.

The event was originally planned for a tent, but the "overwhelming response" from the community prompted the move to the larger theater, she said.

Speakers are expected to include students from Mat-Su Career and Technical High School, which David attended. Grunwald's girlfriend and her father also plan to speak.


There will be limited seating at the vigil, so participants should dress warmly and be prepared to stand.

For more information, contact Spangler at 907-315-2043.

Zaz Hollander

Zaz Hollander is a veteran journalist based in the Mat-Su and is currently an ADN local news editor and reporter. She covers breaking news, the Mat-Su region, aviation and general assignments. Contact her at