Unsolved murder

Kittitas County Search and Rescue volunteers use dogs to search in and around a parking lot along D Street at Central Washington University on July 21, the day after a man with fatal stab wounds was found there. (Brian Myrick / Daily Record file photo)

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Although violent crime is rare in Kittitas County, the first homicide in several years occurred in July, after an Ellensburg man found in a parking lot on Central Washington University’s campus died.

Central Washington University Police found 23-year Hector Mejia Villa in a campus parking lot July 20 suffering from stab wounds. He died in the hospital the next morning. An autopsy found he had been stabbed through the heart.

CWU Police Chief Mike Luvera said the investigation is ongoing and he had no further information.

“We are still very actively working and still following up on some leads and that kind of thing, but no suspect information,” he said.

Central is leading the investigation, with cooperation from other agencies. Villa was not a student or employee of the university.

Luvera said he didn’t want to speculate as to the nature of the crime, saying investigators are “keeping a very open mind.”

Luvera said the state crime lab has yet to complete an analysis of evidence recovered during an initial sweep of the area where Villa was found, the parking lot at D Street and 14th Avenue.

Villa left behind two young children, a son and a daughter, and friends said he had taken a construction job shortly before his death.

Friends and family members raised $10,000 to bring Villa to Mexico for burial, thanks in part to a benefit dinner in late July at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church and outside donations. He was buried Aug. 4. Villa’s parents live in Mexico.

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