Cause of death released in 18-year-old's body found at Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University Police Services on Wednesday were investigating what they believed were possible human remains that were found by an employee. 

Police say they were alerted to the discovery shortly after noon on Wednesday. The remains were found in a rugged area in what police say was a shallow grave west of Parking Lot M, near Sonoma State's Green Music Center.

“We can not tell how long it has been buried but due to the lack of decomposition, it appears that this was fairly recent,” said Sgt. Spencer Crum of the Sonoma County Sheriff's office on the scene. 

Detectives from The Sonoma County Sheriff’s department confirmed late Wednesday evening that there has been a body found west of the Green Music Center.

The body has been identified through fingerprint analysis to be that of 18-year-old Cotati resident Kirk Kimberly. The family has been notified as of Thursday evening. Kimberly was reported missing on Oct. 17. 

Kimberly was a recent graduate of Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park.

Excavation of the body began Thursday morning when pathologists and crime technicians arrived on scene. 

It was determined by the forensic pathologist that the preliminary cause of death was homicide. 

According to a statement released submitted by Lieutenant Tim Duke of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, Kimberly's death was caused by multiple stab wounds. 

As of now, detectives believe this wasn't a random act and believe Kimberly was targeted. 

"Preliminarily, detectives believe this was not a random act of violence but an isolated incident. Thus far, detectives have found no affiliation with the homicide and Sonoma State University or its students, other than where the body was found, which was on the property, in an isolated and secluded area of the campus," said the press release on Saturday. 

The information as to how many stab wounds there were and the location of these wounds has not been released. 

In an email sent out to all Sonoma State students and faculty on Wednesday, acting Chief of Police David Dougherty asks community members and students to stay clear of the area during the investigation.

Students have been reacting to this discovering since the first email went out. 

"I've always felt safe on campus but after hearing about this, how can something like this happen under our noses?," said Sonoma State senior Alex Gonzalez. 

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department have taken the lead role in the investigation.

They ask for any information that could help the investigation by calling Detective Joseph Horsman of the Sheriff's Violent Crimes Unit at 707-565-2185. 

Last updated: 11/5/16 at 6:23 p.m.