Campbellsville Freshman Found Dead in Dorm, Another Student Arrested


In the latest violence to rock a college campus, an 18-year-old student was found dead in his dorm room at Campbellsville University in Kentucky, and a 21-year-old student was arrested on suspicion of murder after being found hiding in a barn.

The victim was identified as Josiah Malachi Kilman, a freshman wrestler from Montana; no cause of death was immediately provided.

“Joe and Jessica Kilman received the news this morning that their beloved son Josiah has left this earthly world and has gone to be with the Lord our Father in Heaven,” a family friend said in a GoFundMe.

“There are no words strong enough to mend the broken hearts of this family right now. We are all truly in shock at the abrupt and unexpected loss of Josiah and we are asking for an abundance of prayers for them as they grapple with this devastating tragedy.”

Based on surveillance video, officials obtained a warrant for Charles Escalera while the campus of the Christian school—which has 12,000 students—was placed on lockdown.

Escalera was reportedly nabbed after a local farmer called police to report a suspicious person in his barn.

“We have lost a student and our hearts are broken,” Campbellsville President Joseph Hopkins said in a statement. John D. Bertram, the county attorney for Taylor County, told The New York Times that he was “not aware of any history” between Kilman and Escalera, although the latter reportedly wrestled for the school in 2021 and 2022.

Kilman’s family was heading to Kentucky to pick up their son’s body.

“As the family prepares for the next steps in this process we ask that you find it in your hearts to help our family raise some funds to aid with the financial burdens of losing such a beautiful young man,” the GoFundMe organizer wrote.

“The cost of transporting Josiah from Kentucky back to his home state of Montana alone will be over $10,000. That doesn’t include the burial expenses and travel expenses to pick up their son’s belongings from the college dorm.”

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