Apparent murder, suicide leave UI community 'shocked and saddened'

Aug 24, 2011

Classes at the University of Idaho are going on as usual today, but the campus remains subdued following an apparent murder- suicide this week involving a former UI professor and a UI graduate student.

When police discovered the body of 31 year old Ernesto Bustamante Tuesday morning, dead from an apparent self- inflicted gunshot wound, the former UI assistant professor was a murder suspect in the shooting death of 22 year Kathryn Benoit of Boise, a UI graduate student. She was killed outside of her off-campus residence Monday night.

News spread through campus via Facebook, text messages, the university alert system, press coverage, and word of mouth. Students said they were saddened and some were scared.

University of Idaho President Duane Nellis released a statement Tuesday saying the campus was shocked and saddened by the events, and UI Dean of Students Bruce Pitman spoke to reassure students and their families:

“Our parents around the state and the region should know that the University of Idaho is a very safe place. This is a very unusual event, and the event took place off- campus,” Pitman said.

Police are continuing the investigation.

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