DES MOINES, Iowa — Noah Laprei, 17, has been charged in the murder of his grandmother, Rachel Pray. Now, those who know the teen are speaking out, saying Laprei was on drugs when, according to police, he beat Pray to death in the home they shared together.
“It’s not him, like, he was totally a different person when he came up to the door pounding on it and in the window … I fell on the floor because that’s how loud it was,” said neighbor Kaylie Hill.
Hill lives across the street from where police found 79-year-old Pray dead. Hill claims Laprei was on drugs Saturday night when he came pounding on her door, scaring her whole family. “He was saying
“He was saying acid and [LSD]. He had a Bible in his hand, running around with it in the air, saying the world’s going to end,” Hill said.
She said Laprei would be calm one moment and hyper the next.
Neighbors describe the 17-year-old as a good kid. “When I`m like leaving, he`s coming and going and he usually smiles and waves and is a nice boy,” said neighbor Daniella Hill. For the past two weeks,
“When I’m like leaving, he’s coming and going and he usually smiles and waves and is a nice boy,” said neighbor Daniella Hill.
For the past two weeks, Laprei has been working as a cashier at the B-Bop’s on 1500 East Euclid Ave.
“To everybody here, he’s a very polite kid. Everybody liked him,” said store manager Brian Thomas. “From what I was told from some of my other managers is that his mother passed away a few years ago and his father’s in prison so he was living with his grandmother.”
Neighbors say Laprei had only been living with his grandmother for the past few months, and they can’t believe he’s accused of killing her. Neighbors have fond memories of Pray.
“She was a wonderful lady,” said Su Copeland.
“She was always nice and polite and was a very caring old lady and it`s sad,” said Jessica Mcclellend.
Police originally responded to 3924 E. 30th Street to investigate a report of an assault at approximately 11:20 p.m. on Saturday. Upon their arrival they found Pray deceased in her home.