Cotati community mourns man found dead on Sonoma State campus

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- Family and friends described Kirk Kimberly as a "great kid." They're in shock after the teen's body was found in a shallow grave on Sonoma State University's campus.

RELATED: Officials identify man's body found on Sonoma State campus

There is a lot of sadness at Rancho Cotati High School. The district has brought in substitute teachers for those who knew him and need time to mourn. They also brought in help for students.

Those who knew 18-year-old Kirk Kimberly describe him as a great, well-liked young man. His murder has left the small community of Cotati shocked and heartbroken.

"He was a very, very nice young man," said family friend Linda Williams. "I used to see him a lot around the neighborhood and he would always smile and say hello, and chat and worked down there at Papa Murphy's Pizza and everybody loved him."

Kimberly's body was discovered in a shallow grave Wednesday on the campus of Sonoma State University. Investigators identified him late Thursday.

They aren't saying how he was killed, citing the ongoing investigation.

Police have not made any arrest. Kimberly just graduated from Rancho Cotate High School in June.

"He was well liked," said Matt Marshall of the Rohnert Park Unified School District. "He had outgoing personality. He kinda had a little bit of a comedian. So, he was a well-loved kid for sure."

School administrators not only have counselors for kids to talk to, they brought in therapy dogs to soothe the students.

While people who knew him deal with their grief, they're also hoping for answers.

"I hope they find out what happened to him, cause it's tragic for this city, and street in particular," said Williams.

RELATED: Deputies investigate report of body found in shallow grave at Sonoma State University

Police are asking anyone with information about the last moments of his life, where he was headed, to give them a call at (707) 565-2185 and help them fill in the blanks.
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