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Slain Mount Rainier Ranger Once Lived in Wilton

WILTON, Conn. – Park Ranger Margaret Anderson, 34, who was shot to death during a New Year’s Day traffic stop in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state, lived in Wilton as a child, according to news reports.

Anderson’s father, the Rev. Paul Kritsch, served as pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Westport from 1976 until 1988, when the family moved to Westfield, N.J. The current pastor, the Rev. Paul N.E. Teske, gave information to The Hour but was unavailable for comment when contacted by The Daily Wilton.

Kritsch was well liked by the people of the congregation, Teske told The Hour. Teske arrived in 1989 and never met the earlier pastor or his family. 

According to Mount Rainier National Park spokesman Greg Shine, Anderson graduated from Westfield High School in 1995 before going on to graduate with honors from Kansas State University. She attended Fort Hayes State University for a master's in biology in 2003.

She and her husband, Eric, moved to Mount Rainier in 2008 where, Shine said, she was well known and liked as an EMT and park officer.

"This is a heartbreaking, senseless tragedy. Margaret was just 34 years old. She and her husband, Eric, who is also a park ranger at Mount Rainier, have two young children. Margaret was killed while doing her job – protecting the visiting public on one of the park's busiest days of the year,” Jonathan Jarvis, director the National Park Service, said in astatement.

Benjamin Colton Barnes, an Iraq veteran and suspect in the murder of Anderson, was found dead in Mount Rainier National Park on Monday, according to the National Park Service.

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