National News

Arrest made after Kentucky student found dead in dorm room, police say

todayFebruary 25, 2024


Campbellsville Police Department/Facebook

(CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.) — A suspect has been arrested in connection to the death of a Kentucky student who was found dead in his dorm room over the weekend at Campbellsville University, according to police.

Josiah Kilman, 18, was discovered unresponsive in his Campbellsville dorm room around 1 a.m. local time Saturday morning and was transported to Taylor Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the university said in a press release.

On Saturday evening, the Green County Sheriff’s Office and Kentucky State Police announced that 21-year-old Charles Escalera was arrested at approximately 5:15 p.m. in connection with Kilman’s death, officials said.

Authorities were dispatched after receiving a call for a “suspicious male located inside a barn” on the Green County and Taylor County line, according to a police update posted to Facebook.

Police said Escalera was taken into custody without incident.

Escalera is facing murder and burglary charges and is being held in the Taylor County Detention Center, according to online records. He does not yet have an attorney listed.

Kilman’s cause of death has not been determined, according to police, who said his body was transferred to the Kentucky Office of the Medical Examiner in Louisville for an autopsy.

“Campbellsville University is grieving the loss of one of our family. We have lost a student and our hearts are broken,” Dr. Joseph Hopkins, Campbellsville University president, said in a statement.

“During this devastating time, the continued safety of our students and the residents of our community are our primary concern. With consultation from local law enforcement, we will continue to implement every measure necessary to protect and support students and our community,” Hopkins said.

Campbellsville University announced early Sunday that all scheduled classes, events and activities on campus will resume.

Campbellsville is a private Christian university that’s about 84 miles southeast of Louisville and approximately 83 miles southwest of Lexington.

Kilman’s death in Kentucky is at least the third death of a college student reported this month in the United States.

In Georgia, a 22-year-old woman was found dead last week after going for a run on the University of Georgia’s Athens campus. The victim, Laken Hope Riley, was found Thursday in a wooded area on campus with “visible injuries,” the university said. She died from blunt force trauma, according to University of Georgia Police Department Chief Jeffrey Clark.

A suspect in her death, 26-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra, has been charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, obstructing an emergency call and concealing the death of another, according to police.

Tragedy also struck the University of Colorado — Colorado Springs campus earlier this month when a student allegedly gunned down two people in the dorms, including his roommate.

Nicholas Jordan, 25, was arrested on Monday and charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of his roommate, Samuel Knopp, and Celie Rain Montgomery, who were found dead on Feb. 16, according to Colorado Springs police.

Jordan had allegedly told Knopp weeks prior that he’d “kill him” if he was asked to take out the trash again, according to court documents. Jordan allegedly had an AK-47-style assault rifle and a handgun in his car when he was arrested, according to prosecutors.

ABC News’ Meredith Deliso, Jeffrey Cook and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.

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