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Burns & Gambo

Updated Apr 25, 2013 - 6:39 am

Police ID ASU student killed in her apartment

Rebecca Kasper. (Facebook photo)

TEMPE. Ariz. -- An Arizona State University student whose boyfriend was arrested in connection with her death has been identified, police said.

Rebecca Kasper, 19, was reported dead Tuesday by her boyfriend, 22-year-old Luis Soltero, who was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Tempe police said Soltero is facing a murder charge. He is being held on $1 million bail on suspicion of beating Kasper to death with a dumbbell.

Soltero walked into a police substation and told police his girlfriend was dead in an apartment near Apache Boulevard and Rural Road.

"It's a gruesome scene," said Sgt. Mike Pooley.

Court paperwork showed that Kasper's body was found in a bathtub covered in coffee grounds and baking soda. Her head was wrapped in plastic and her wrists and ankles were bound.

An unsigned note was found next to Kasper's body. The note made references to the killer feeling a need "to end her life." The note also claimed she was killed on "420."

Prior to walking into the police station, Soltero said he sat in a car with the engine running for 12 hours. Pooley said Soltero was treated at a local hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Soltero arrived at the police station driving a car registered to Kasper's parents.

On Wednesday, Rebecca's father, Dan Kasper, spoke to reporters about his daughter and said she loved living in Arizona and was proud to be a Sun Devil.

"This is where she wanted to live, she loved it here," Kasper said. "[ASU] was the only college she applied at. She said, ‘That's where I'm going to school.'"

Kasper also called his daughter "focused and determined."

Kasper said he met Rebecca's boyfriend and suspect, Soltero, last Christmas and did not suspect anything was wrong with the couple.

"He was quiet, laid back and easy going," Kasper said. "Seemed like a good kid. Nothing that would indicate anything like this would ever happen."

Kasper flew into Arizona on Wednesday and said coming to Arizona made the horror of the situation set in.

"I feel like this should be someone else's story… this happens to other people kids, not mine," Kasper said. "Coming here made it real because we just kept feeling like this has to be a mistake."

Paperwork showed that both Soltero and Kasper's name were on the rental application for the apartment. Neighbors complained numerous times of verbal confrontations at the apartment and Kasper's coworkers told police she had bruising on her arms consistent with being grabbed.

KTAR's Mark Remillard and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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