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Student charged in murder of Campbellsville University classmate

Charles Escalera, 21, is charged in the death of Josiah Kilman, 18.
Taylor County Detention Center
Charles Escalera, 21, is charged in the death of Josiah Kilman, 18.

A member of the Campbellsville University wresting team has been arrested in the death of a teammate.

Josiah Kilman, 18, of Montana was found unresponsive in his dorm room early Saturday, according to a university news release.

Police have charged Charles Escalera, 21, with his death. According to the Campbellsville Police Department, Escalera was arrested on Saturday inside a barn on the Green-Taylor County line.

The Taylor County Coroner's Office says the cause of death was asphyxia by manual strangulation. The motive remains unclear.

"Our campus family is grieving a heavy loss at this moment, and our hearts are broken, said Campbellsville University President Joseph Hopkins in a statement. "Josiah Kilman was a beloved member of our community. He was a bright light, and a person of incredible hope. His faith was contagious across our campus."

Hopkins added the school is providing counseling to students and working to increase safety on campus.

Escalera is currently being held at the Taylor County Detention Center on murder and burglary charges. His bond has been set at $2 million.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.