Stephen Ellison

Body in Shallow Grave at Sonoma State ID'd as Missing Cotati Teen

A body found in a shallow grave at Sonoma State University on Wednesday has been identified as a Cotati teen who had been missing for two weeks, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

Kirk Ryan Kimberly, 18, was the person buried near a campus parking lot and found by a landscaper Wednesday, sheriff's officials said. He had been missing since Oct. 17, when he was last seen leaving Cotati on his white bicycle to meet a friend in Rohnert Park, according to the Cotati Police Department.

Why anyone would want to kill him was not revealed. His Facebook page said that he graduated from Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park.

The preliminary cause of death "is at the hands of another," the sheriff's office said, and investigators are treating it as a homicide.

On Wednesday about noon, a Sonoma State employee informed university police of what appeared to be human remains in a shallow grave. The remains were located on the outskirts of the campus in a wooded area, about 200 yards west of parking lot M. The body was covered by dirt and debris, sheriff's officials said.

At about 3 p.m. Thursday, the body was unearthed and taken to the morgue, where it was determined to be a male, sheriff's officials said.

A forensic pathologist conducted an external examination of the body and through fingerprints confirmed the identity to be that of Kimberly, sheriff's officials said.

Anyone who has information about Kimberly’s disappearance or has knowledge of the incident is asked to call Detective Horsman of the Sheriff’s Violent Crimes Unit at 707-565-2185.

Contact Us