Fort Worth

Suspect in TCU-Area Murder Linked to Two Alleged Sexual Assaults

The man arrested and charged in the murder of a 22-year-old woman found dead in her garage apartment near Texas Christian University last month was twice before accused of sexual assault, according to his arrest warrant.

Reginald Gerard Kimbro, 23, was arrested by Fort Worth police last week in the murder of Molly Matheson.

According to police, Kimbro was also arrested in March 2014 after being accused of sexual assault at a resort in South Padre Island. Kimbro claimed the sex was consensual and the charges were later dismissed.

In September 2012, a woman reported Kimbro had sexually assaulted her in Plano.

“The victim felt that she was going to die because Kimbro was choking her and covering her mouth and nose so she couldn’t breathe,” police wrote in Kimbro’s arrest warrant.

Even though the victim reported the alleged rape to police, Kimbro was not arrested, police said. The document does not explain why police and prosecutors did not pursue the case.

In both cases, police said Kimbro knew the women and strangled them during the assault.

Matheson, police said, died of homicide by strangulation and may have also been sexually assaulted. After learning of the previous allegations against Kimbro, police said the Tarrant County Medical Examiner is going to expedite the processing of a sex assault kit taken from Matheson.

More Details Released in Matheson Murder Investigation

On April 10, Molly Matheson's mother found her daughter's body in the bathroom of her garage apartment, curled up in a ball and wearing only a T-shirt. Matheson's mother told police she went to her daughter's apartment after learning she failed to show up to work and wasn't answering phone calls.

She said when she arrived at the apartment she found the door closed, but unlocked. Police later noted that the only lock on the door was a deadbolt that could not be locked from the outside without a key and that there were no signs of forced entry -- all indications, police said, Matheson may have known her killer.

Matheson and Kimbro previously dated while both were students at the University of Arkansas in 2014. Kimbro told police they eventually separated but had kept in touch.

He said she texted him Sunday, April 9, asking if he wanted to hang out. He said he agreed and got to her house at about 10:30 p.m. He said they began to kiss and considered having sex before stopping because she was worried about her boyfriend. Kimbro said they did not have sex and that he left her apartment at about 1:30 a.m. and began driving back to Arkansas.

Police said Kimbro's vehicle has "distinctive rear quarterpanel tail lights" and that a vehicle "visually consistent" with Kimbro's was recorded on residential surveillance cameras arriving at Matheson's apartment at about 10:25 p.m. and leaving at about 2 a.m. April 10.

Fort Worth detectives interviewed Kimbro four days after Matheson’s murder after cell phone records showed the two texted that night, the arrest warrant said.

Kimbro told detectives he went to her apartment about 10:30 p.m. but left after a few hours and had nothing to do with her death.

Kimbro ended the interview when investigators tried to pin him down on the timetable, detectives said.

In a search of the apartment, police found a pair of the victim’s running shorts, panties, a pillow case and a fitted sheet in the washing machine, along with a pair of men's underwear, still wet.

Detectives used electricity records to show a spike in power consumption about the time a neighbor’s surveillance camera showed Kimbro’s car leaving the apartment. Police believe Kimbro could have loaded and started the washing machine as a means to destroy evidence.

The investigation into the case is ongoing.

NBC 5's Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

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