Nikki was killed after going missing on 6th June 2019. Her skeletal remains were found near Larch Mountain on 7th December.
VANCOUVER, Wash. (KATU) – Police arrested a 25-year-old accused of murdering a transgender teenager who has been missing since June.
Investigators said they believe 18-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen was killed after revealing to the suspect, David Bogdanov, that she was born male.
On December 7, someone found Nikki's remains while collecting bear grass on Larch Mountain in a remote part of northeast Clark County. Detectives say Bogdanov had allegedly been talking with Kuhnhausen on Snapchat and planned to meet on June 6, when she was last seen alive.
Authorities say cell phone records for that day show Bogdanov's cell phone was in the same remote area where her body was found.
“We suspect that there was probably some interaction where - and by his own admission - that he determined that, somehow found out during conversation that she was transgender and he stated that he - that was offensive to his culture and he asked her to get out of his van,” said Lieutenant Tom Ryan of the Vancouver Police Dept. Major Crimes Unit.
During an interview with detectives, Bogdonov said he and Nikki had been together in early June, they "had a conflict" and he asked Nikki to get out of his van. Bogdonov told them that Nikki walked away and he never saw her after that.
Nikki was from Vancouver in nearby Washington State. She was 17 at the time she disappeared, but by the time her body was found she would have been 18. The date she died has not been confirmed, but cell phone records on the day of her disappearance put her alleged killer in the area where her body was later found.
David Bogdanov, 25, was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Investigators said they believe Bogdanov met Kuhnhausen the morning she disappeared, killed her, and may have driven his white van - or one like it - up to Larch Mountain.
"The cause of death is always found by the medical examiner's office. There was some evidence that indicates at least the potential of some strangulation involved," Lt. Ryan said.
Bogdanov is expected to make his first appearance on second-degree murder charges Wednesday morning at the Clark County courthouse.
On 27th August 2021 Bogdanov was convicted of second degree murder and malicious harassment. Two weeks later on 9th September he was sentenced to 20 years in jail.