Nichole Rice has been charged in Anita Knutson murder that took place fifteen years ago. According to police reports Anita Knutson who was a Minot State University freshman at the time was found murdered in her bed. Anita’s father would make the grim discovery after not hearing from his daughter for a few days. Anita Knutson died from several stab wounds. The case to find her killer went nowhere for a long time with the Knutson family blaming the local police for screwing up the investigation. Nichole Rice who attended school with Anita Knutson and was her roommate at the time of her murder told police that she was with her family during the time that Anita was murdered however her story and that of her family was full of inconsistencies however she was never arrested due to lack of evidence. However that changed this year when Nichole Rice would confess to an ex boyfriend that she was responsible for the murder of Anita Knutson. When they broke up the ex told the police and Nichole Rice would finally be arrested and charged with the murder of Anita Knutson.
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Nearly 15 years after a North Dakota teen was found murdered in her home, a crack has finally been made in the case. Police in Minot say that Nichole Rice, 34, has been arrested in connection with 18-year-old Anita Knutson’s killing, after more than 10 years in which “there was no person of interest, little evidence, and a murder victim with no justice,” per KXMB. The Minot State University freshman was found dead in her bedroom on June 4, 2007, after her dad, Gordon Knutson, hadn’t heard from her in a few days, drove to her apartment, and saw a blood-stained mattress through the window, he told Crime Watch Daily in an earlier interview, per the Washington Post. Police say Anita Knutson, who was found on her bed with a housecoat placed over her, had been stabbed to death.
Knutson’s family wasn’t happy with the yearslong investigation that followed, claiming that law enforcement botched the search to find her killer. On Wednesday, Minot Police Chief John Klug announced his team finally had a suspect: Rice, who’d gone to high school with Knutson and was Knutson’s roommate at the time of her murder, per InForum. When the probe into the killing initially began, Rice is said to have told police she was with her family the weekend before Knutson was found, but according to an affidavit of probable cause for Rice, police found remarks by both Rice and her parents to be “inconsistent and contradictory,” per the Post. Those who knew both young women also labeled Rice “hot-tempered and reactionary.”
“Anita was scared of her,” Knutson’s mom, Sharon Knutson, told Crime Watch Daily in the earlier interview, noting her daughter had planned to move out of the apartment she shared with Rice. But police say they didn’t have enough evidence to charge Rice—until earlier this month, when they were able to track down an ex-boyfriend whom Rice allegedly confessed the crime to, per the affidavit. Rice was arrested Wednesday while at her civilian job at Minot Air Force Base. Police haven’t yet revealed a motive. Rice, who was released from Ward County Jail after posting a $120,000 bond, faces life in prison without chance for parole if she’s convicted of the felony charge of intentional murder against her, per KFYR. (Read more cold cases stories.)