By Dominic Garcia
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– Police have arrested a suspect in the murder of 41-year-old Kimberlee Graves.
On Thursday, Fort Collins police announced Khalid White, 29, had been arrested.
Graves, a Fort Collins resident, was reported missing in early December. Police were unable to contact Graves, her car was gone, and her home appeared to have been ransacked.
Detectives found her car days later, abandoned in a parking garage.
Graves’ body was found in Lory State Park on Jan. 9. The Larimer County Coroner determined she was killed by blunt force trauma and manual strangulation. The coroner also found evidence of sexual assault.
Police said White was acquainted with Graves, but didn’t say how.
“Of course I’m still sad Kimmy isn’t here, but at the same time we’re going to have some justice,” her mother, EC Waller told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
After he missed a probation appointment on Dec. 14, 2017, an arrest warrant was issued. Detectives learned he had left Colorado on a commercial bus and he was intercepted by police in West Wendover, Nevada on Dec. 20, 2017.
When he was booked into the Elko County Jail, officers discovered that he was in possession of Graves’ identification and other items that belonged to her.
Police said after further investigation and the discovery of Graves’ body, detectives found evidence linking White to her death.
White is facing charges of first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body, sexual assault and identity theft.
“This case remains under active investigation,” police stated Thursday. “Detectives estimate that Kimberlee was killed on the night of December 4 or early morning of December 5. Police believe the ransacking of her home occurred after she disappeared as several people had access to the residence.”
Graves’ mother and sister say her two kids are staying strong, despite the circumstances. And they want people to know the motto their mother lived by.
“Her mom used the term love and light all the time. Her daughter wants to send that out… love and light to everyone,” said Waller.
The parents of Kimberly Graves are holding a candlelight vigil for her on Friday, at 5:30 p.m. in Fort Collins. It will be held at the corner of Shields and University.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Fort Collins Police at 970-416-2825 or email@example.com. People may also contact Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at 970-221-6868 or www.stopcriminals.org.