The University of Idaho was in contact with graduate student Katy Benoit repeatedly over the summer about her relationship with UI professor Ernesto Bustamante. On Monday, three days after he resigned from the university, Bustamante shot and killed Benoit, then killed himself, police say.
UI on Friday released this timeline of its contact with Benoit since June.
• June 10: UI had its first contact with Benoit regarding her complaint that Bustamante had threatened her. Based on her allegations, the university urged Benoit to take safety precautions and contact the Moscow Police Department. The university also provided her with contact information for the police and Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse. UI also contacted the police directly.
• June 12: UI received details of Benoit’s complaint in writing.
• June 13: Benoit sent UI an email indicating she had contacted Moscow police. UI again replied to Benoit, urging her to contact Alternatives to Violence.
• June 14: Benoit sent email to the university saying she did not want Bustamante served with her complaint at that time, before discussing it further. She indicated she would come in to speak with university officials the next day.
• June 16: When Benoit did not come in June 15, the university sent an email to her to encourage the follow-up meeting.
• June 30: The university received email from Benoit apologizing for being out of touch. She wrote she had been out of town and would be gone again the following week.
• July 6: UI informed Benoit by email that her complaint had been sent to Bustamante along with a letter detailing the possible university policy violations. The complaint had been held until this date at Benoit’s request. The university reiterated the importance of seeking more help, including calling police if Benoit ever felt the need. She also was told that UI had directed Bustamante to have no contact with her. Benoit was told to inform the university immediately if Bustamante did attempt to contact her.
• July 9: Benoit emailed the university to say she was out of town until July 13.
• July 14: The University Threat Assessment Team, including a Moscow Police Department representative, met to assess the level of safety risk to Benoit and others involved in the investigation. Separately, UI investigators met with Benoit to review Bustamante’s response and notify her that they would interview Bustamante on July 19. A recommendation was made that she stay somewhere other than her apartment to avoid contact.
• July 22: The university called Benoit to ask where she would be until the start of school. She said she would be in Moscow. UI encouraged her to continue to take safety precautions, including contacting police.
• Aug. 22: The university met with Benoit to inform her that Bustamante’s last day of employment was Aug. 19. She was cautioned to remain vigilant and get assistance from the police and others if she had any safety concerns. The university also encouraged Benoit to remain in contact with university representatives and to take advantage of university support services.
Benoit was shot and killed that evening outside her apartment.
Source: University of Idaho
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