BOISE -- The autopsy of Katy Benoit, the University ofIdaho graduate student slain outside her home Monday, revealed she was shot eleven times in the chest and neck with .45 caliber bullets.
The Moscow Police Department released in depth details into the history of the relationship between Benoit and the former assistant professor who police say shot her, 31-year-old Ernesto Bustamante.
Documents found during a search of the hotel room in which Bustamante was found dead confirm he and Katy Benoit first met during the fall of 2010 when she was his student. By the end of the semester, the two were involved in a sexual relationship.
This past June, Katy filed a sexual harassment complaint with the University of Idaho. In the complaint, she alleged that Bustamante threatened her, by holding a gun to her head and describing to her how he would use it, on three separate occasions.
Bustamante denied the allegations, and in return, filed a formal complaint against Katy in July. His complaint said she made unfounded complaints and it was a potential defamation of character. He said the two had a close and personal relationship and that they shared intimate aspects about their personal lives.
On June 10, Katy Benoit called Lt. Dave Lehmitz with the Moscow Police Department, because she was referred by the University of Idaho to address safety concerns. Lt. Lehmitz urged Katy to call police if any threatening or suspicious happened.
On July 14, the University of Idaho requested the Moscow Police Department help with a threat assessment concerning the threatening behavior of Bustamante. The police department attempted to contact Katy several times, but she never returned their calls. The Moscow Police Department was later informed by UI that Katy did not want police involved.
The search of the hotel room in which Bustamante was found dead, turned up the following medications and weapons:
- Clonazepam: Used as an anticonvulsant for epilepsy and as a sedative for sleep disorders
- Lexapro: Used to treat anxiety in adults and major depressive disorder in adults
- Lamotrigine: Used in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. It is also used as an adjunct in treating depression
- Alprazolam: Used to treat moderate to severe anxiety disorders
- Smith and Wesson M&P .45 caliber handgun which is believed to be the weapon used to murder Kathryn M. Benoit
- Smith and Wesson .44 caliber revolver which is believed to be the weapon used by Ernesto Bustamante to commit suicide
- Springfield Armory .45 caliber handgun
- Ruger LCP .380 caliber handgun
- Glock 9mm caliber handgun
- Taurus Judge .45 caliber / .410 gauge handgun
- Additional ammunition was also recovered in the hotel room for the weapons listed
Bustamante was issued a concealed weapons permit in March of 2011. It would expire in 2016.
An investigation into the cell phone records of Benoit and Bustamante dating back to July 24, 2011, revealed the two did not have any phone contact.
The investigation into Bustamante revealed the former assistant professor had gotten a job in New Jersey and made arrangements to move his property and his car on August 24, two days after the murder.
University of Idaho response
University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis is asking for an independent review of the university's policies and procedures to make sure the university maintains the highest safety and security standards.
Nellis also directed the university legal counsel to seek a ruling from the courts to allow the release of personnel records related to former assistant professor Ernesto Bustamante. When it has the authority to release the documents, Nellis said the university is committed to full disclosure of all the related documents.
A review of the FamilY Education Rights and Privacy Act found that student records do not remain confidential after a student's death, but the personnel records do.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Katy Benoit, said Nellis in a written statement. We understand their desire to have a full accounting of the circumstances that led to Katy s death. I intend to do everything I can to answer their questions. A tragedy has occurred and we all want answers.
The University of Idaho outlined the communication it had with Katy Benoit following the complaints she filed against Bustamante. Records indicate that on August 22, the day Katy was shot, the University informed her that Bustamante's last day of employement was August 19. The university warned her to be vigilant and ask for help from the police if she had any safety concerns.