The Story Of Mariska Hargitay’s Nephews’ Murder

By RahulPublished on: April 8, 2024 Updated on: June 3, 2024
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In a quiet corner of Sandpoint, Idaho, a story has lingered in the shadows, untouched by mainstream media, yet it holds the weight of tragedy and a reminder of the harsh realities of crime.

This is the story of Christopher ‘Chris’ West, a nephew of the acclaimed actress Mariska Hargitay, whose life was cut short at the age of 25. While her nephew Henry von der Schulenberg has become famous in the tennis world, not a lot know about Chris, who was the son of Tina Hargitay, Mariska’s half-sister from her dad Mickey’s marriage with Mary Birge, and her husband, Mark Stephens West, who passed away in 2011.

Tina Hargitay sitting in a theatre
Mariska’s sister Tina lost her son in 2005.

Their West’s family life away was shattered on August 24, 2005, when Chris was murdered in cold blood. Yes, you read the right, he didn’t die of natural causes or an accident, but someone murdered him.

Our journey into the unknown starts with a haunting Facebook post by Chris’s sister, Natalie Pringle (ne’e West). On Facebook, she shared a status talking about the persistent grief of losing her brother and hinted at the circumstances of his death. Take a look at the photo below:

Tina Hargitay's daughter's facebook post
Natalie’s post remembering her dead brother. Source: Facebook

Determined to unearth the truth, we drew a correlation between Natalie’s revelations and an article from the Spokesman-Review. The article reported the murder of a 25-year-old man at the Evergreen Towing garage on Great Northern Road, Id, by Kenneth E. Thurlow and Christopher A. Lewers, whom authorities arrested almost immediately.

Even if the name was a coincidence, surely the memorial location couldn’t be the same, that was First Church of God, 221 S. Division. The memorial service location was revealed in both Chris’ obituary and the Spokesman news.

How Did the Tragic Event Happen?

According to testimony by Sandpoint Detective Chris Higby, Chris’s death was the result of a confrontation gone terribly wrong between Thurlow & Lewers and West. This altercation wasn’t a random act of violence but a premeditated attack fueled by disputes linked to drug activities, specifically the sale and use of methamphetamine.

Chris’s last moments were spent in a towing garage, working on his pickup truck, utterly unaware of the tragic fate that awaited him. He was found the next day, lifeless, next to his truck.

Tina Hargitay West grandson Dakota West Facebook Posts
Dakota has all grown up and shared this sentiment on FB. Source: FB

Thurlow and Lewers were sentenced to life in prison without parole. Although Thurlow and Lewers appealed their sentencing in 2014 and 2018 respectively, the court upheld both the sentences.

After his demise, West left behind this then 4-year-old Dakota West, who is all grown up. He also shared his sentiments on Facebook by posting a heartfelt status.

About Author: Rahul

Rahul has been diving into the world of entertainment in niches like celebrity, anime, and health articles since 2016. As a passionate writer, he combines personal experiences with thorough research to create content that's not only informative but also relatable and engaging.