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Officials Identify Body Found on Chico State's Campus

Officials have identified the body of a woman found on Chico State's campus on Tuesday.

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 6:00 AM
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 2:50 PM

UPDATE 2:29 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 - A public information officer for Chico State has released the name of the woman found dead in front of Kendall Hall on Tuesday. 

She has been identified as 55-year-old Linda Blacksten. 

The investigation is still ongoing. 

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UPDATE 5:39 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 - The University Police Department at Chico State released more information about the body found on campus on Tuesday morning. 

They received a call around 1:20 a.m. on Tuesday about an argument between a man and woman by Kendall Hall. An officer with the department went to the scene and made contact with the murder suspect, Samuel Johnson. The officer did not see a fight, so he let Johnson go. 

Around 5 a.m. the victim's body was found in an alcove of Kendall Hall. 

Due to the previous contact the officer had with Johnson, the department decided to look for him in connection to the crime. 

Johnson was found around 9 a.m. on Tuesday coming out of a downtown Chico coffee shop with blood on his shoes and lower pants. He was arrested on the scene as a suspect with the crime. 

The preliminary cause of death appears to be blunt force trauma which is not inconsistent with being kicked in the head while being down, according to the department. 

The suspect does not have a previous record and has not confessed to the crime. He is expected to be arraigned on Thursday. 

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UPDATE 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 - Chico State officials are officially calling the death of a woman, whose body was found on campus early Tuesday morning, a homicide. 

They have identified the suspect as 27-year-old Samuel Eugene Johnson. He was booked into the Butte County Jail with bail set at $1 million. The victim was a 55-year-old woman who died from blunt force trauma.  Her name has not yet been released and authorities have not released any information about a possible motive for the killing.  

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UPDATE 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 - A suspect is now in custody following the discovery of the body of a woman on the Chico State campus.  A letter distributed to the campus community by Chico State President Gaile Hutchinson and University Police Chief John Reid made the announcement just before 5 p.m. Tuesday.  The names of the victim and suspect have not been released but both were apparently homeless.  

Here is a portion of that letter:  "We know today’s death on campus was alarming to our campus community. It is being treated as a crime investigation and while the details we can share are minimal, a suspect is in custody and there is no threat to campus. Both the victim and suspect in today’s incident were experiencing homelessness and were known to UPD."

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UPDATE 10:25 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 - University Police have released more information regarding the body found on Chico State's campus. 

At around 4:40 a.m. police received a report of a welfare check for a person on the ground by Kendall Hall. 

Police found a woman dead by Kendall Fall. Facts and circumstances led police to think that it is a crime scene. 

The investigation is ongoing and involved a partnership between the Chico Police Department, Butte County Sheriff's Office and the University Police Department. 

The woman is not affiliated with campus and the campus is not believed to be in danger, according to John Reid, chief of the University Police Department. 

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UPDATE 7:06 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 - Chico State updated through twitter a deceased person was found on campus. Chico State says the person was not a student. The incident is being investigated as a possible crime scene by UPD/Chico PD. The campus is open and classes are in session. Kendall Hall will remain closed until 11 a.m. Chico State says, based on preliminary information, there is no reason to believe there is an ongoing threat.

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CHICO, Calif. - Chico State sent students an alert that University Police are investigating an incident outside Kendall Hall. The University tweeted out that there is no threat of harm to the campus, but asks students to avoid the area. 

Action News Now is working to get an update from Chico State Police now. This is a developing story, check back for updates. 

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