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Body found in shallow grave at Sonoma State University is missing teen

Investigators have identified a body found in a shallow grave on the Sonoma State University campus as a missing 18-year-old man who lived nearby and hasn’t been seen for two weeks.

The body of Cotati resident Kirk Kimberly was unearthed by a university landscaper Wednesday afternoon in an undeveloped, wooded area about 200 yards west of parking lot “M,” Sonoma County sheriff’s officials said on Facebook

“The pathologist was … able to determine the preliminary manner of death to be at the hands of another, therefore we are now considering this to be a homicide investigation,” the department said.

No details about the cause of death were released. Kimberly had been missing since Oct. 17, officials said. School officials said Kimberly was not a student.

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“This would be concerning to everybody — to staff and students alike — and we would encourage them to use caution,” sheriff’s spokesman Spencer Crum said. “Take the precautions that are necessary.”

On Thursday, after securing the crime scene overnight, investigators cordoned off a three-acre area around a parking lot at the university as they worked to unearth the body.

“We don’t know if someone dug [a] hole or simply threw dirt on” the body, Crum told The Times in an email.

The area where the body was found is rugged and dense with trees and brush.

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“We want to make sure we collect all the evidence — every little fiber and hair that could possibly lead us to a potential suspect,” he said.

No arrests have been made.

Joseph.serna@latimes.com

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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UPDATES:

8:40 a.m.: This article was updated with school officials saying Kimberly was not a student

This article was originally published at 7:55 a.m.


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