Cotati teen found buried at Sonoma State University suffered ‘multiple stab wounds’

The 18-year-old homicide victim whose body was found buried at Sonoma State University Wednesday sustained multiple stab wounds from one or more assailants, a Sonoma County sheriff’s official said Saturday.

Detectives believe the killing of Kirk Ryan Kimberly of Cotati was not a random act of violence, said Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Duke, who is overseeing the investigation. Instead, sheriff’s officials suspect Kimberly was targeted by his killer or killers, Duke said, indicating he may have known them in some way.

The slaying, which Duke described in a written statement as “an isolated incident,” did not appear to have any connection with the college or its students other than the location where Kimberly’s body was found, in an isolated area on the eastern edge of the 269-acre Rohnert Park campus.

Sheriff’s officials declined to elaborate on the number or location of the stab wounds, as well as the type of weapon or weapons used.

Detectives are working around the clock on the case, collecting and processing evidence, Duke said. He declined to describe the evidence or say where it was collected.

Kimberly, a 2016 Rancho Cotate High School graduate who was not a student at SSU, was reported missing by his father Oct. 17. He was last seen leaving his Cotati home on a bicycle to visit a friend in Rohnert Park, and investigators are trying to determine his whereabouts from Oct. 15 to Oct. 17.

His body was discovered by an SSU landscaper in a shallow grave near a campus parking lot west of the Green Music Center, separated by a creek from the rest of the campus. SSU’s enrollment is 9,400 students.

Efforts to reach Kimberly’s family for comment have been unsuccessful.

Anyone with information about Kimberly’s disappearance or his killing is asked to call Detective Joe Horsman of the Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit at 707-565-2185.

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 707-521-5457.

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