Walla Walla man found dismembered in cooler, court documents say

Walla Walla man found dismembered in cooler, court documents say
Kyle Martz was a student adviser at Whitman College.

WARNING: This story contains graphic details that may disturb readers.

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Court documents give horrific new details on the killing of Kyle Martz, a Walla Walla man found dead at his home earlier this week.

Police say they responded to Martz’ home at 331 S. Fourth Ave. on Monday at about 6 p.m. after his roommate reported that he was missing. Their home was in left disarray with blood on various surfaces and a strong smell of bleach in the air. There was also a lock on the detached garage that had not been there before.

Officers found a shovel, a hammer and an axe covered with apparent blood lying in the yard between the house and the garage. They cut the lock and found an open cooler covered with a blanket.

Inside the cooler, they found “what appeared to be dismembered human remains.”​​​​​​

Neighbors told police they had seen Martz on Sunday evening, then saw an unknown man — later identified as 23-year-old Colby Hedman — on Monday. They said the man borrowed a shovel and an axe and told them he needed tools to do some work, court documents say.

The neighbors reported smoking marijuana with Hedman around 1:30 p.m. Monday, then saw him driving away in Martz’ truck about an hour later.

Walla Walla detectives pinged Hedman’s phone, which placed him in eastern Oregon. Martz’ truck was discovered in Baker City, court documents say.

Hedman allegedly stole two other cars in the Baker City area while attempting to escape from Oregon authorities.

While responding to the first theft, Baker County deputies found Hedman on the side of Old Trail Road, which runs parallel to Interstate 84. He ran away on foot and stole another car from the same home.

He drove the second stolen car through a fence that separates Old Trail Road from I-84 and tried to turn westbound into the eastbound lanes. Two Oregon State Police troopers used their cars to stop Hedman before taking him into custody.

He was booked at the Baker County Jail for attempting to elude, reckless driving, hit-and-run, criminal trespassing and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Walla Walla Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagel said the City of Walla Walla won’t be able to take custody of Hedman until his case in Oregon is finished.

KAPP-KVEW has confirmed that Martz was an employee at Whitman College.

Whitman College President Kathleen Murray provided the following statement:

I am at a loss for words for how to understand the events of the past 24 hours and the death of our community member Kyle Martz.

Kyle worked at Whitman for the past seven years in a number of roles, most recently as our international student and scholar adviser. Kyle was also a 2007 graduate of Whitman College with a degree in Gender Studies and German Studies. He was a much loved and trusted member of our community and he was especially beloved by our international students. We are providing support services for our students, staff, and faculty during this time and ask that our community be allowed to focus on coming together and supporting one another.