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Monday, July 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Mom Blames College for Presumed Killing

(CN) - Peru State College in Nebraska allowed a criminal to move into a co-educational dormitory, and he killed a fellow dorm member, the young woman's mother claims in Federal Court.

Latanya Thomas, of Omaha, sued the school, Nebraska, the city of Auburn, Nemaha County, the Nebraska State College Board, the Nebraska College Board of Regents, the University of Nebraska and Joshua Keadle, in Omaha Federal Court.

Thomas says her daughter Tyler was assaulted, abducted and murdered on Dec. 10, 2010.

"The last known person who was seen with Tyler Thomas was Peru State student Keadle," the complaint states. "Defendant Peru State assigned Keadle, who was an older male student, to the same floor and a few doors away from freshman Tyler Thomas in the housing unit.

"Defendant Peru State admitted Keadle as a student when they knew that Keadle had criminal propensities, a criminal background and had trouble prior to their admission of Keadle to the college and his assignment to the housing unit."

Thomas claims the city and county too were aware of Keadle's criminal background before the attack but failed to take appropriate steps to stop it.

She claims the defendants failed to protect her daughter because of her race and gender.

Thomas claims that Keadle, with or without other unknown assailants, abducted and killed her daughter.

Keadle pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a minor in the first degree on Dec. 20, 2011, in Dodge County Court, according to the complaint.

"Tyler Thomas fought back and attempted to protect herself during the attack by Keadle and possibly other unknown John Doe assailants," the complaint states.

"The body of Tyler Thomas has not been found after her death."

Thomas claims the defendants failed to establish or implement safety measures that would have protected her daughter.

"Defendants were negligent ... in failing to adequately investigate the background of Keadle and to discharge him or prevent him from entering Peru College System as a student knowing he posed a danger to other female students on campus," the complaint states.

"The defendants owed a duty to Tyler Thomas to take reasonable steps to protect Tyler Thomas against acts of violence on its campus and violence based on any harm which resulted from her attendance at Peru State College."

Founded in 1867, Peru State is a public, four-year liberal arts school in Peru, Neb. Thomas seeks damages for wrongful death and negligence. She is represented by Timothy Ashford of Omaha.

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