College student from Northfield slain in Arizona

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 24, 2013 - 11:33 PM

Becky Kasper was found dead in the bathtub of her estranged boyfriend’s apartment on Tuesday.

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Becky Kasper, Luis Soltero

Rebecca “Becky” Kasper’s parents were in Tempe, Ariz., Wednesday night, speaking of their daughter’s promising future — and how it had ended in a brutal slaying that police say came at the hands of her estranged boyfriend.

Kasper, 19, lived in Northfield and St. Cloud for much of her life, but she had returned to Arizona, where the family lived for a few years, to attend a prestigious business school at Arizona State University.

She didn’t show up for her job Monday at a coffee shop near campus, her father, Dan Kasper, said Wednesday night from the shop, where the owners wept with her parents.

On Tuesday, Luis Soltero, 22, with whom she had recently ended a relationship, drove her car to a Tempe police substation, showed officers Kasper’s Minnesota driver’s license and said she was dead, authorities told her father.

Police found Kasper’s body, beaten beyond recognition, in the bathtub of Soltero’s apartment, according to her father and published reports.

“We’re assuming this happened over the weekend,” said Dan Kasper.

Soltero is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, said Tempe Police Sgt. Michael Pooley. Soltero remained in the Maricopa County jail Wednesday in lieu of $1 million bail.

Kasper’s father said his daughter met Soltero, who is from New Mexico, last summer while selling books in North Carolina, and he had spent Christmas with the Kasper family in Northfield. Becky Kasper had spent Easter with Soltero’s family, her father said.

She was born and spent her youth in St. Cloud, before the family moved to Arizona. They came back to Minnesota in 2007, settling in Northfield. Becky returned to Arizona to attend the W.P. Carey School of Business in Tempe.

In her senior year of high school, she had driven from Northfield to Inver Hills Community College and back each day to finish her first year of college early under a program for gifted students.

“She was a good kid. She didn’t do the parties. She didn’t do the risky behaviors,” said Dan Kasper. “She went to college to study, to learn. She was not out … drinking, doing drugs, like a lot of college students. She came to be a serious college student and launch her career. She had everything going for her, she had a great future ahead. She loved being back in Arizona. That’s where she wanted to stay. So it just makes it that much more senseless.”

Joy Powell • 612-673-7750

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