Kentucky man charged with murder after body of Murray State student found in ditch

Published 5:26 am Monday, March 29, 2021

The body of a Murray State University student that was found in a roadside ditch in Calloway County has been identified and a man has been charged with her murder.

Kentucky State Police have identified the body found on Fox Road near McCuiston Drive  on Friday as 21-year-old Sarah Townsend.

Preliminary autopsy reports determined Townsend, originally from Farmville, Virginia, died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to a news release.

Murray State University Campus Police were asked to conduct a welfare check on Townsend after she didn’t show up for work on Friday. She was later found dead by KSP.

“With the help of various intelligence services, KSP discovered that Townsend’s vehicle, a Toyota Camry, had been observed by traffic cameras in central Georgia,” the news release said. “Further investigation led to the development of a suspect who also had ties to the same area in Georgia.”

Julius Sotomayor, 22,  has been charged with murder, theft by unlawful taking, and tampering with physical evidence.

KSP identified Sotomayor, as a suspect and found him at his home in Dexter, Kentucky, and Townsend’s car nearby. Investigators determined there was enough evidence to arrest Sotomayor.

KSP says the investigation is still ongoing.