College Athlete Found Dead in Dorm Room

The community of Campbellsville University in Kentucky is grappling with the shocking death of a freshman student, Josiah Kilman, 18, who was reportedly strangled by a wrestling teammate in his dorm room. The incident occurred just days before the wrestling team was scheduled to travel to Kansas for a national championship.

Kilman’s body was discovered in his dorm room shortly before 1:00 a.m. on February 24. This marks the fourth homicide on a college campus nationwide within a ten-day period. A teammate of Kilman, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed that Kilman shared his room in the South East dorm with three other students. However, the circumstances surrounding the discovery of Kilman’s body and the whereabouts of his roommates at the time of the incident remain unclear.

The Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office, as announced by the Campbellsville Police Department, determined that Kilman died from manual strangulation. Charles “Zeke” Escalera, 21, a sophomore and fellow wrestling teammate, has been charged with burglary and murder in connection with Kilman’s death. Escalera is currently being held at the Taylor County Detention Center on a $2 million bond. The authorities have yet to disclose a possible motive for the crime.

In the wake of this tragedy, the university community has rallied to support the Kilman family. Campus Pastor Trent Creason spoke of the difficult week, but also highlighted the strength of the community. “It’s been a painful week but also It’s been a week that God has been so good. Many conversations happened. Prayers happened. Students received Christ this week. Through God’s incredible work,” Creason said.

Campbellsville University, a Christian institution, has opened the Ransdell chapel to students, staff, and others who may need a place to pray. During a service at the chapel, Kilman’s father urged the community to embrace “forgiveness” during this challenging time.

Tyler Gilfry, a childhood friend of Kilman, remembered him as a likable person who never instigated conflicts. “He wasn’t the dude to start fights, but he was a dude that everybody liked – I can see someone getting jealous over him just being himself,” Gilfry said.