College student found dead in a Kentucky ditch. 22-year-old man accused of murder.

Source: Kentucky State Police

Mar. 30 2021, Updated 6:20 p.m. ET

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A passerby found a woman’s body dead in a ditch Friday morning, and days later police claim to have arrested the man who killed her. 

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Kentucky State Police identified the body as Sarah Townsend, 21.  She didn’t show up for work last week, so Murray State University Campus Police conducted a welfare check, but they didn’t find her in her home. 

Detectives compared the student profile with the description of the unidentified body, and were able to make a match with the help of family members.

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An autopsy showed Townsend died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, according to Kentucky State police

Investigators found Townsend’s vehicle was seen on traffic cameras in central Georgia, several hundred miles away.

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A suspect was identified who had ties to the area. In the early hours of Saturday, detectives determined that the Toyota Camry had made its way back to Kentucky.

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Detectives located Julius Sotomayor, 22, near his home in Dexter, Kentucky. Townsend’s stolen vehicle was located nearby, according to police.

Sotomayor was charged with murder, auto theft and tampering with physical evidence. He is being held on $1 million bail at the Calloway County Jail.

“Sarah was a student majoring in pre-veterinary medicine/animal/veterinary technology and a Residential Advisor at College Court Apartments,” Murray State University President Bob Jackson in a message to campus obtained by the Courier Journal. “Murray State University is one Racer family and this loss is felt deeply by all of us.”


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