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Student charged in dorm death

A high school wrestling champion has been charged with killing a classmate in his dorm at a small Kentucky Baptist college, but authorities are remaining silent about the details of the brutal murder that rocked Campbellsville University.

Campbellsville Police say 21-year-old Charles Escalera was killed Saturday night after killing 18-year-old freshman Josiah Malachi Kilman, who was found unresponsive in his dorm room just before 1 a.m. , was arrested while hiding in a barn.

Killman, 18, was taken to Taylor Regional Hospital, where he died, authorities said.

Police found Escalera several hours later, around 5:15 p.m., after receiving a call about a suspicious man hiding in a nearby barn. Kentucky State Police responded and made an arrest.

Escalera is also a student at Campbellsville University, a private Christian university located about 135 miles south of Louisville.

Josiah Malachi Kilman, 18, was found unresponsive in his dorm room early Saturday morning and later died at a hospital. Handouts to families

Escalera is a champion wrestler and won the 106-pound wrestling state title in Union County in 2017. According to 14 News. He also wrestled at Campbellsville University, according to the 2021 roster.

He is being held at the Taylor County Detention Center.

The alleged murder has shaken the 12,000-student Southern Baptist school. Police urged students to be extremely careful even after the university lockdown was lifted.

“Secure your residence, secure your vehicle, and be aware of your surroundings,” authorities said.

Police have not released a motive for the killing or details of Killman’s cause of death.

a GoFundMe set up by Killman’s family By Sunday, more than $33,000 had been raised to pay for transporting the body back to his home in Montana.

Charles Escalera, 21, was taken into custody Saturday evening in connection with Killman’s murder later that afternoon. campbellsville police department

Killman’s body was taken to the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville for an autopsy, police said.

It is unclear whether Mr. Kilman and Mr. Escalera knew each other.

Campbellsville University President Dr. Joseph Hopkins said the university is grieving and “heartbroken.”

Campbellsville University was on lockdown until Escalera’s arrest Saturday afternoon. campbellsville university
Killman, 18, is from Montana, according to fundraisers. Facebook

“During this devastating time, the continued safety of our students and community members is our primary concern,” he said. “In consultation with local law enforcement, we will continue to take all necessary steps to protect and support our students and community.”

The university said its on-campus student counseling center is open and counselors are available for students seeking psychological support.

Police searched for Escalera for several hours and found him hiding in a nearby barn. campbellsville police department

Immediately after this information was released, all campus events and sports were canceled. Students and staff were invited to pray together in Ransdell Chapel.

All scheduled activities were scheduled to resume Sunday.

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