Student Arrested for Wrestling Teammate’s Murder

( – An arrest has been made after Campbellsville University student and member of the wrestling team, Josiah Kilman, 18, was found dead in his Kentucky dorm room on February 24th.

An arrest warrant was issued for a former member of the wrestling team, Charles E. Escalara, 21, a pre-engineering major from Moore, Oklahoma. According to Campbellsville Police, he was taken into custody “without incident” after being located in a barn on the Taylor County and Green County line. He has been charged in relation to Kilman’s murder with one count of murder and one count of second-degree burglary and is being held at the Taylor County Detention Center on a $2 million bond. The motive for the murder is still unknown. Now a sophomore, Escalara last competed on the wrestling team during the 2021-2022 school year.

Kilman, who is from Columbia Falls, Montana, was taken to Taylor Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive in his dorm room at the private Christian university. He had been attending Campbellsville University on a biblical scholarship.

An autopsy performed by the Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office determined Kilman’s cause of death to be asphyxia by manual strangulation.

In a statement, his family said Kilman was an “avid athlete” adding that he was a “faithful religious leader” who dreamed of leading others to follow God. They said he was an “example of compassion, kindness and love.”

The school community was “grieving a heavy loss,” according to a statement from Campbellsville University President Joseph Hopkins. He said Kilman was a “person of incredible hope,” adding that his faith was contagious.

Sadly, Kilman is the third college student to be murdered in February. After going for a run on the University of Georgia’s Athens campus, Laken Riley, 22, was found dead. Jose Antonio Ibarra has been charged with connection to her murder. On February 16th, at the University of Colorado’s Colorado Springs campus, Samuel Knopp and Celie Rain Montgomery were found shot to death inside a dorm room. Nicholas Jordan, 25, Knopp’s roommate, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

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