CEDAR RAPIDS - News of the violent deaths shocked Kirkwood Community College students, especially those that live in apartments near the crime scene. But residents of two small towns in Eastern Iowa are also overcome with grief.
A double murder hit too close to home for residents of Columbus Junction and Solon. These small towns are mourning the violent deaths of two cousins. Molly Edmondson graduated from Columbus Community High School last year. Her former teachers describe the teen as caring and motivated.
"She was always smiling, willing to help out, and always checking papers. She was always doing whatever needed to be done. That was just molly," said Katie Lewis, Molly's former high school teacher.
And the same can be said about Molly's cousin Katrina Hill. S he was a senior at Solon High School. All 65 of Hill's classmates are shocked their friend was stabbed to death.
"The first thing you think of is I'm never going to forget her. She's everyone's friend. She's a remarkable person," said Michelle Stacey, a Solon junior.
While family and friends grieve, Cedar Rapids Police Officers are looking for answers.
"The three of them did go to a mutual friend's house on Saturday evening and later ended up back at the College Park Apartments. We're still trying to piece together the time line," said Lt. Ken Washburn.
Police say Kyle Marin and Edmondson were acquainted. Court papers reveal Marin told police he stabbed and used a hammer to beat both women. Police say Marin later drove one of the victim's cars to turn himself in at the Linn County jail. Investigators won't reveal a motive, but neighbors say they've heard one reason might be relationship issues.
"I've heard he liked Molly a lot, and she just wanted to be friends. That's what is going around with students," said Kirkwood student Megan Biddenstadt.
Kirkwood officials say nothing in the school's history compares to this tragedy. An autopsy report released late this afternoon listed the cause of death as homicide. At an initial court appearance today, Marin's bond was set at one million dollars for both charges. He will be assigned a public defender.