News briefs for Jan. 11

Church responds to minister's death

The congregation at First Christian Church feels "great sadness" over the death of a youth minister Tuesday, according to a press release attributed to the church's board of elders.

John Graler, 53, a youth minister since 2000, was found dead at his home on Moffat County Road 35. He was a suspect in a joint Moffat County Sheriff's Office-Craig Police Department investigation after allegations surfaced accusing him of sexual assault.

"John Graler's death comes as (a) great shock to this congregation and further deepens the pain of the events of the last two weeks," the statement reads. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Graler family and to the many individuals who are grieving for this loss and the events which preceded his death."

The church also asked for the prayers of the community.

"We again ask for the church membership and the members of the public to pray for all of those touched by these tragic events," the statement reads.

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