Murder case remains unsolved, reward reaches $11,500

More than three months after he was killed, the death of 18-year-old Kirk Kimberly of Cotati, whose body was discovered on the campus at Sonoma State, remains a mystery, officials say.

Kimberly’s body was discovered near the Green Music Center parking lot on Nov. 2. Sheriff’s investigators say the teen had suffered multiple stab wounds and was found face down in a shallow grave. Today, detectives are still trying to figure out who was responsible.

“Detectives are putting in all possible effort into the case, and we will do our absolute best to try and find out who killed Kirk,” said Sgt. Spencer Crum of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

In the meantime,  the victim’s family has raised more than $11,500 in reward money for information that they hope will lead to authorities finding who killed the young man.

The details of the circumstances that led to the teen’s death remain largely unknown. Kimberly disappeared on Oct. 17 and his body was found more than two weeks later. 

Since then, the investigation has focused on finding a white Cannondale mountain bike Kimberly was last seen riding, as well as a Bose speaker believed to be in his possession. It is believed that Kimberly knew the person(s) who killed him, Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Duke said back when the body was discovered. This was not a random murder; it was a targeted one, according to law enforcement.

“We do not have any named suspects at this time,” Sgt. Spencer Crum said. Today, with four detectives on the case, the search for answers continues. “This is not an easy process like one you would see on CSI.,” Crum said. Investigators are also still trying to determine a motive for the murder.

The family has set up a reward fund through the You Caring website in hopes of gettinginformation about the murder. As of Monday, the site had raised $11,616 from 93 contributors, with an additional $2,500 being provided by the Sonoma County Alliance, a coalition of local leaders in business, agriculture, labor and elected office. 

On the page for the reward fund, Kelly Kimberly, Kimberly’s father wrote, “There is a good chance that your donation for Kirk’s Reward Fund might be the catalyst that helps take this/these monster(s) off the street and out of our community.” 

The site, set up by Kirk’s father Kelly, is still receiving donations. and anybody can contribute at

Kimberly graduated from Rancho Cotate High School last June. According to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, the incident had nothing to do with Sonoma State other than the location of the body, which was found in an obscure wooded area of campus 200 yards west of the Green Music Center parking lot, by a Sonoma State landscaper. The discovery led a forensic team to investigate the site for any evidence.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has released no information regarding the number or location of the stab wounds found on Kimberly’s body. 

They have not told the public what weapon was used, or if it was left at the scene. They do believe that the body was not brought there.

When Kimberly left his home in Cotati on Oct. 17, he was reportedly riding his bike to a friend’s house in Rohnert Park. Two days later, his father reported him missing.  

According to The Press Democrat, he was scheduled to begin a new job on Oct. 24, one week after he disappeared. What happened during this time period remains a mystery.