ND - Anita Knutson, 18, murdered, Minot, 4 June 2007 *Roommate Arrested*

tiffkinsadder

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Hello,

I would like to preface this by saying I am not a websleuth, I am merely asking for help.

I have been heavily involved in seeking justice for Anita Knuston. She was murdered in her off campus apartment in the city of Minot, 14 years ago this June. Her case remains unsolved and is now considered a cold case. Over the past 14 years her family and friends have done whatever they could to keep her case in the spotlight. We have put up billboards and requested news channels to run stories.

Anita Knutson was 18 years old in 2007 and working full time while attending college at Minot State University. She was reported found in her apartment lying face down, stabbed several times, covered with her own bathrobe early afternoon on Monday June 4th 2007.

Her mother, Sharon Knutson, generally spoke to her everyday. Anita didn't answer her call on Saturday, June 2 and Sharon didn't receive a call back on Sunday. When Anita failed to answer her phone again on Monday, Anita’s father drove to her apartment to check up on her. He arrived to find her car parked but she did not answer her door and it was locked. He went to the manager's office and asked to be let into the apartment. He called the manager to open up the apartment who pointed out that a screen had been cut in one of the windows and was laying on the ground.

Her father pushed aside the blinds and saw Anita face down on her bed. He reached his arm through and touched her head and knew instantly that she was dead. As they entered the apartment, nothing looked out of the ordinary until they walked into Anita's room. Her bed was covered with blood, she was face down and her body was covered with an old robe. She had been brutally stabbed in the upper body numerous times. The murder weapon, a pocket knife, was laying on the floor at the foot of her bed (or in the sink--reports are conflicting on this detail).

Her recorded time of death on her death certificate is Monday, June 4th at 5:15pm. This is when she was pronounced dead and not her actual time of death. Per the Grand Forks Herald article, linked below, Anita’s speculated time of death was Sunday morning June 3rd. She spoke with her mother Friday night, June 1st, but then failed to show up for work on Saturday or return her mother's call for the remainder of the weekend, leading me to believe her time of death may be inaccurate. Another detail that emerged was that the screen in her bedroom had been cut seemingly after the murder from the inside. If that is the case, how did the perpetrator get inside? Then, there is the question of motive, there was no robbery or sexual assault, no drugs or alcohol were found in Anita's system and she had no known connections to questionable people or activities.

Police have spoken to and investigated hundreds of people: neighbors, classmates, and people who attended the same club she liked to spend weekend nights at. No promising leads turned up. There have been several people of interest, but nothing has warranted an arrest.

From there, the case turned cold. No new leads and no arrests have ever been made. However, the tragedy of Anita's murder created another massive blow to the Knutson family. Daniel Knutson, Anita's younger brother, never recovered from her murder. Sadly, he killed himself in 2013, siting Anita's murder as the cause of his pain and depression.

This family deserves answers for the suffering they have endured. Anita Knutson deserves justice and somebody needs to be held accountable for her murder and the pain it caused her loved ones.

Anita was a bright light in a dark room. She went out of her way to make everyone feel special and she deserves better than her case collecting dust on a shelf for over a decade. This is personal for me as she had been my best friend since kindergarten and I refuse to let her light go out.

I’m hoping I can gain access to her case files so that I might enlist the help of a professional outside source to review her case. I have reached out to the State’s Attorney for help in this endeavor, but have yet to hear back. If anyone reading this has experience in this matter, I would love to speak with you.

In general, I’m asking for any help. We are 14 years out and would appreciate literally any information whether you think It’s common knowledge or not.


Grand Forks Herald Article:

Minot college student's slaying in 2007 remains a mystery | Grand Forks Herald.
I'm sorry for your loss.

I've read a couple of different links as well as the one you posted. Do you know why her and her roommate weren't getting along?
 

YaYa_521

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  • ...Nichole Rice, 34, Knutson’s roommate at the time of her death,...
  • ...detained Rice at Minot Air Force Base where where she works in a civilian capacity,
  • ...long suspected that Rice may be the killer, but they lacked sufficient evidence to make an arrest.
  • ...she was always a person of interest in this case.”
  • Asked what the “turning point” in the case was, Klug did not identify a particular piece of evidence. Rather, he said it was investigators piecing together 15 years of information.
  • If found guilty, Rice faces a sentence of life in prison. She is scheduled to appear before a judge at 2 p.m. on Thursday,...
 

Gardenista

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Here's an archived article

Horrific murder of North Dakota college student remains unsolved as family waits for new evidence | Brainerd Dispatch

There were theories investigators looked into during the early days. Anita Knutson did have a roommate she did not get along with. At times, their verbal altercations had led to accidental physical contact, yet no arrests were ever made.

While the roommate did have an alibi, provided by her parents who claimed she was with them throughout the weekend, she was still subject to polygraph tests and multiple interviews throughout the years.
 

Reasonable & Just

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From the Heavy article:
According to the affidavit, “A number of individuals indicated that there was a lot of tension between Anita and Nichole. Anita had a reputation for being kind, friendly and likable. Nichole’s reputation is that she was hot-tempered and reactionary. One friend heard Nichole say to Anita, prior to her murder, ‘One way or another I’m going to get you (Anita) out of this house.'

I wonder what happened between them, and why they seemed to be stuck together in that place. What a tragedy.
 

Ssschu

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Roommate Arrested For 2007 Murder Of Anita Knutson, To Be Featured On ‘Cold Justice’ | Oxygen Official Site

Looks like the TV show "Cold Justice" helped solve this case. Love that show!

“We tried to actively investigate Anita’s case for the past few years, and finally, with the help of ‘Cold Justice,’ we were able to move forward and regain focus,” Klug said on Wednesday. "Due to the resources, logistics, planning and experts they were able to provide, we were able to obtain an arrest warrant.”

"Cold Justice's" Kelly Siegler noted that "working on a case with a victim as loved as Anita with a police department like Minot PD, who was so invested, in a world of witnesses this cooperative was wonderful.”
 

kemo

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This case has always interested me. There was no sign of forced entry or any struggle and the window screen was cut in a way to suggest the apartment was broken into but Anita’s blood was on the cut screen; it was cut after Anita was killed. All of this is pretty compelling evidence that the murderer was someone that Anita admitted to the apartment and did not feel any particular threat from.

While it was well reported that there was some conflict between her and her roommate, coverage of the case seemed to focus on the young man who lived in the same building and was described as some sort of unsuccessful suitor. There didn’t seem to any real evidence against the guy but we all know that the jilted boyfriend usually did it.

A big problem in the investigation was Time of Death. The coroner established it as Saturday night/Sunday morning but she missed work on Saturday and no one had heard from her that day. Time of Death is always problematic and there were techniques available but not always used by medical examiners at the time. Without a definite Time of Death, alibis or the lack there of, don’t mean all that much.

What has now come out was that the roommate and her parents gave what was described as “inconsistent statements” when they were interviewed. There is a general assumption that, in a murder investigation, people with nothing to hide, do not lie to Law Enforcement. It doesn’t alway work that way and it is reasonable that even the well intentioned can get details wrong. Still, lying to the police during a murder investigation looks really bad to a jury.

The other “new” evidence is the statement from the ex-boyfriend that she had confessed to him that she killed Anita. Hard to tell how credible he will be. It is always good to hear of arrests being made in old cases. We will see how it plays out.
 
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JerseyGirl

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Suspect charged in Anita Knutson killing to appear in court next month

The courts have rescheduled the preliminary hearing and arraignment for 34-year-old Nichole Rice for May 26.

The original hearing, set for April 21, was pushed back due to large amounts of discovery.

According to court documents, Rice will also have a pre-trial conference in August.
 
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