Josiah Kilman cause of death confirmed as Charles Escalera arrested for murder of Campbellsville University student

Mugshot of Charles Escalera
Suspect Charles Escalera is facing murder charges in the death of Josiah Kilman. Pic credit: Taylor County Jail

The officials in Taylor County, Kentucky, have confirmed that Campbellsville University student Josiah Kilman was murdered in his dorm last Saturday, and the cops have arrested fellow student Charles Escalera.

The 18-year-old Kilman was strangled to death, and the police believe the culprit was his former teammate on the university wrestling team, 21-year-old Escalera.

Kilman, a biblical studies student from Columbia Falls, Montana, was found unresponsive in his dorm room in the early hours of Saturday morning. He was transported to Taylor Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

On the morning of his death, the Campbellsville Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Escalera, who was on the run.

The cops released surveillance images of the suspect after he was last spotted at a hardware store in Campbellsville.

The public was warned not to approach but to immediately dial 911 if he was spotted.

Suspect Charles Escalera found hiding in a barn following Josiah Kilman murder

Later that afternoon, a public member contacted the Green County Sheriff’s Office to report that somebody suspicious was hiding in their barn on the county line between Green and Taylor counties.

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Escalera was taken into custody without incident from that barn.

He was charged Saturday night with murder and burglary charges and is currently being held in Taylor County Jail.

The Campbellsville University campus remained on lockdown until Escalera was taken into custody.

Family, friends, and Campbellsville University pay tribute to Josiah Kilman

The Kilman family has released a statement referring to the teenager as kind, compassionate, and someone with a “passionate heart on fire for the Lord.”

Josiah attended the college on a biblical scholarship, and his family said he hoped to inspire “others to follow the Lord through the Christian principles, of which he himself adhered to.”

Kilman was a freshman at the university and was listed on the 2023-24 Men’s Wrestling team roster.

Josiah Kilman smiling in family pic
University student Josiah Kilman was just 18 years old when his life was cruelly taken from him. Pic credit: Family pic

The Campbellsville University president, Joseph Hopkins, also released a statement paying tribute to Kilman, calling him “a bright light and a person of incredible hope.” Hopkins also sent his deepest sympathies to Kilman’s family and friends.

The university organized a time of “worship and healing” event on Sunday evening to help the campus community come together for emotional support.

Counseling services have been made available for all students and staff.

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