A 32-year-old Red Wing man has been arrested in Arizona in connection to his girlfriend's killing.
Kyle Steven Williams, 32, was charged via warrant on Aug. 19 with second-degree murder in the death of Kelly Kocurek, 36. She was found unresponsive at the Coratel Inn in Hastings on May 18 and died at the hospital five days later, with her cause of death determined to be strangulation.
Kocurek is remembered as a "loving, generous, intelligent, fun-loving person" who loved her family and two daughters, her obituary says. She had an "irresistible laugh and brought joy to many lives."
William was arrested in Phoenix on Aug. 26, jail records show. He is awaiting extradition back to Minnesota.
According to the criminal complaint, Hastings police responded to a medical call at the hotel at 1:20 p.m. on May 18. When they arrived, Williams ran out the front door of the hotel screaming for officers to hurry. He led them to room 205 and told police he couldn't get Kocurek to wake up, telling officers to "zap" her.
Police found Kocurek lying on her back on the floor with her left arm across her body. She was unresponsive and there were several cords that appeared to be cut next to her, charges said. She had blood on her face, her face was bruised and swollen, and she had marks around her neck.
While officers were providing aid to Kocurek, Williams "continued to scream hysterically" that she strangled herself, the complaint said.
Kocurek was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where she was in a coma for five days before she died on May 23.
The medical examiner determined Kocurek's death was a homicide, and she died as a result of asphyxia due to ligature strangulation, charges said. She had several injuries that were inconsistent with self-inflicted wounds, and had numerous traumatic head injuries that were attributed to physical assault.
Investigators spoke with "numerous" witnesses in an attempt to piece together what happened. The victim's mother said she dropped her daughter and Williams off at the hotel on May 17. She last saw them at about noon on May 18, when she dropped a bag off at the hotel and Kocurek was in good spirits.
Kocurek's mom got a call from Williams at about 1:20 p.m. on May 18 during which he said Kocurek was unresponsive and needed help. She told him to call 911 and she immediately drove to the hotel.
Investigators spoke to a hotel worker who said he heard "boom, boom, boom, like people were wrestling or fighting" about a half-hour after Kocurek's mom dropped off the bag. Then, about 10 minutes later, the worker said he heard a man yelling "Kelly! Kelly!" and then saw Williams in the hallway with blood on him.
Another witness also saw Williams with blood on him around 1:20 p.m. He had come running to the front desk of the hotel and called 911, the complaint states.
Williams gave "numerous" versions to investigators of what happened, but repeatedly said Kocurek strangled herself with a cord. Police learned from another witness that Kocurek had a pre-existing injury to her right arm that limited her ability to use her hand, adding she required help putting on her clothes and brushing her teeth.
"The Hastings Police Department offers our deepest condolences to Kelly Kocurek’s family and friends in the wake of this tragic incident," a news release said.
The Hastings Police Department worked with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner and the Dakota County Attorney's Office on the case.