Officials identify man's body found on Sonoma State campus as missing teen

ByAmy Hollyfield and Wayne Freedman KGO logo
Friday, November 4, 2016
This image shows Kirk Kimberly, a missing 18-year-old from Cotati, whose body was found on the Campus of Sonoma State University.
This image shows Kirk Kimberly, a missing 18-year-old from Cotati, whose body was found on thecampus of Sonoma State University.

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- Sheriff's deputies say the human remains found on the outskirts of the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park Wednesday afternoon have been identified as Kirk Kimberly, a missing 18-year-old from Cotati.

Kimberly's remains were found around 3 p.m. Wednesday, covered by dirt and debris roughly 200 yards west of parking lot "M."

They were identified today using fingerprints. Kimberly has been missing since Oct. 17, and his family has been notified, according to deputies.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of his death.

A landscaper found the body Wednesday in a wooded, undeveloped area near a parking lot not far from the music center.

"This is on the northwest side of campus, it's a remote area of the campus. There's no pathways or bike trails or classes being held out here, it's not generally a populated area on the campus," Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Spencer Crum said.

Officers have been on the scene since Wednesday and into Thursday.

Officials said no one was reported missing from Sonoma State University, so now it's examining a broader area.

At least one person showed up to the scene out of concern for a missing local friend, but he did not want to comment on camera.

"What we'll end up doing is checking our missing person data base and matching up the physical description. Once we unearth this body, we can match up the physical description to those missing person reports," Crum said. "They will go through basically every grain of dirt to collect hair fibers, hair samples, clothing and do every little bit of trace evidence they can gather from the scene. It's a very slow, methodical search, we're going to ask for patience because it takes a long time."

They didn't start removing the body Wednesday night because it was almost dark outside.

Students are very concerned.

"I didn't believe it at first. But then I was like, why would someone say that? And it took a minute to settle in then I'm like, oh my gosh, there's actually someone dead on campus. So, it's just weird to comprehend that actually happened. You hear it on the news all the time, but you don't really hear it 200 feet away from us," student Matthew Parkinson said.

"It's scary to be alone,I walk near the creek that's just out here all the time and there was a body found right here," Sonoma State University student Maddie Warnement said.

Officials are asking that students stay away from the area.

Bay City News contributed to this report.