Emergency vehicle lights

The man killed Monday was Whitman graduate and an international student and scholar adviser at the college.

Police identified the victim in Monday’s homicide case as Kyle J. Martz, 35, of Walla Walla.

Police suspect he was killed by Colby J. Hedman, 23, of no known address, according to a news release. The two didn’t know each other, police said.

Martz worked at Whitman for seven years and graduated with a gender and German studies degree in 2007, according to an email to staff from Whitman College President Kathy Murray.

“I am at a loss for words for how to begin to understand this and I am sure many of you feel the same way,” part of Murray’s email said.

She wrote the Glover Alston Center was open for people to gather to support one another and people who wished could call the counseling center at 509-527-5195 or the dean of students office at 509-527-5158.

Oregon State Police notified Walla Walla police of Hedman’s arrest Monday night for allegedly stealing at least one vehicle — including the victim’s — and attempting to elude law enforcement, in Baker City, and WWPD determined he was also the homicide suspect, according to a release.

The Walla Walla County coroner will determine Martz’s cause of death, police said.

The Washington State Patrol Crime Scene Response Team and WWPD detectives still are at the crime scene, the 300 block of South Fourth Avenue.

County prosecutors also are in the investigation.

Apparently, a woman returned home at about 6 p.m. Monday to blood splattered and disarray in her home and her roommate missing, according to a news release from police and social media posts.

Walla Walla police arrived and found Martz’s body and later located the victim’s vehicle in Oregon, the release said. 


Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.