San Luis Obispo police on Thursday announced the arrest of a suspect linked to the death of Kristen Marti, whose body was found in Prefumo Canyon last month.
Law enforcement on Wednesday arrested Robert Koehler, 36, of Arroyo Grande in Minneapolis, Minnesota, according to Chief Deanna Cantrell, who made the announcement at a press conference.
On the same day, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow charged Koehler with Marti's murder, which was committed on Jan. 9 with a knife, according to the complaint.
Marti, 26, was reported missing on Jan. 18, after friends and family said she hadn't been in contact with them. She was last seen alive on Jan. 9 sitting with a man in a parked car on the 1800 block of Prefumo Canyon Road.
Authorities found Marti's body in a creek during a large-scale search of the area on March 26 and said her death was being investigated as a homicide.
Police now believe Koehler was the man seen in the car with Marti, although the two did not have a prior relationship, Cantrell said. She said investigators know why the two were in the car together, but declined to provide details.
Koehler has been the sole person of interest in Marti's death for nearly a month. Police in April identified him and asked the public for information regarding his activities during the week of Jan. 9.
Cantrell said police were aware of Koehler's whereabouts when they released information about him, but did not yet have enough evidence for an arrest.
"We've been keeping tabs on where he's been since that time," she said.
For unknown reasons, Koehler left the San Luis Obispo County area on May 2, Cantrell said.
He's currently being held in the Hennepin County Jail without bail pending his extradition to California, Cantrell said.
Koehler was convicted of carjacking a vehicle in Shasta in 2005, but has not committed any other violent felonies in the San Luis Obispo County area.
Jere Sullivan, Koehler's attorney, declined The Tribune's request for comment.