Woman accused of murdering teenaged roommate 15 years ago arrested in North Dakota
‘The mattress was soaked with blood. She was covered up with a large house coat. She was laying face down on the bed’
A woman accused of murdering Anita Knutson — an 18-year-old college student who was found stabbed to death in her apartment in 2007 — has been arrested in North Dakota, according to the Minot Police Department.
An affidavit filed with the court revealed that Rice told a love interest, after a night of drinking years after the crime, that she “did it,” KFYR-TV reported.
In June 2007, Knutson’s parents became concerned because she wasn’t answering their calls for a few days. She had also missed a shift at one of her jobs. Her father eventually drove to her apartment. After the apartment manager unlocked the front door, he went to her bedroom.
“The mattress was soaked with blood. She was covered up with a large house coat. She was laying face down on the bed,” he told True Crime Daily. “I touched her and her body was cold. So I knew she was dead and from that point I think I was just in total shock.”
The murder weapon, a knife, was left at the scene. There was no sign of a robbery or sexual assault. Her apartment’s front door had been locked and her car was nearby, Dateline NBC reported.
As police investigated, reports started to emerge about Knutson and her roommate not getting along. Knutson was “scared of her,” her mother told True Crime Daily. Knutson would also receive “threatening” texts from the roommate, her mother said. They had even gotten into a physical altercation, police said.
At the time of the murder, Rice told police she was with her family.
“There were a few details that came up, and over time things start to develop. You’re looking at probably at least dozens but maybe over a hundred statements that were taken,” said Klug.
He did not reveal a possible motive for the murder.
Although the original investigators on the scene in 2007 had retired, the case was never forgotten, said Klug. New investigators took over and it was a relief that “the one case that we’ve had hanging out there” had a solution.
“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,” said Klug. “Due to the resources, logistics, planning and experts they were able to provide, we were able to obtain an arrest warrant for Nichole Rice.”
Cold Justice is a true crime television series that investigates cold cases. Knutson is the subject of one of their upcoming episodes, the network said. Knutson’s case was also featured on Dateline.
“My heart goes out to the family. I wish we could have solved this sooner but at the same time, I’m glad to say that we have the person responsible for the murder of Anita Knutson in custody,” said Klug.
Rice is expected back in court on April 21.
Driver named and will face multiple homicide charges for deaths at Wisconsin Christmas parade
Evidence in Baltimore murder to be tested for DNA for first time in Adnan Syed case