Champion wrestler charged with murdering fellow student on university campus

CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY – A disturbing murder at Campbellsville University, a recognized Christian university in Kentucky, has resulted in the arrest of 21-year-old Charles Escalera. Considered a former high school wrestling champion, Escalera now faces charges for the brutal killing of fellow student Josiah Malachi Kilman, 18.

The dorm murder was discovered after 1 a.m. Saturday when Kilman was found unresponsive. He later succumbed to his injuries at the Taylor Regional Hospital. After several hours, at around 5:15 p.m., Escalera was located in a barn close to the scene and arrested by Kentucky State Police.

Escalera, also a student at the university, previously captured the state title for 106-pound wrestling in 2017 for Union County, as per a report by 14 News. He continued his wrestling journey at Campbellsville University, as indicated by a 2021 roster.

Expressions of shock and concern echoed across the university community as the news spread. Although the university lockdown was lifted, authorities encouraged students to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

Further details behind Kilman’s cause of death or any potential motive remain under wraps by police. A GoFundMe established by Kilman’s family has garnered over $33,000 by Sunday to facilitate the transport of his remains to Montana.

The university, with its faculty and 12,000 students, is in mourning. President Dr. Joseph Hopkins communicated the grief and devastation while reaffirming the commitment to student safety and community support.

The university had paused all activities and sports, extending open invites to students and staff for a community prayer gathering at Ransdell Chapel. The campus planned to resume all scheduled tasks by Sunday.