BOISE, Idaho – A 21-year-old man has been arrested in Nevada on a first-degree murder warrant in the weekend killing of a University of Idaho student, and authorities say he may be linked to a second shooting death.
A check of the victim's cellular telephone records led to the arrest of John Joseph Delling, whose last known address was Antelope, Calif., at about 4 p.m. Tuesday by police in Sparks, Nev., said Moscow Assistant Police Chief David Duke.
Sparks Police Sgt. Rocky Triplett told the Lewiston Tribune that Delling was initially detained for driving a car that had been reported stolen Tuesday in Ada County, possibly with some link to a man whose body was found Tuesday morning in a pond near the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in east Boise.
A state parks and recreation worker found the body after following a trail of blood from a nearby sidewalk Ada County sheriff's Lt. Scott Johnson told the newspaper, which also reported that Delling was a custodian at a building near the pond.
That victim, identified by Ada County Coroner Erwin L. Sonnenberg as Bradley Morse, 25, a Boise State University student, and David Robert Boss, 21, of Boise, who was found dead early Saturday in the kitchen of his apartment near the Moscow campus, were both shot twice in the head at close range, authorities said.
A telephone registered to Delling, who knew Boss when the pair attended high school in Boise and later college in Moscow, was used to make a call to the UI student at 12:12 a.m. Saturday about the time Boss apparently was slain, Duke said.
Police worked with the telephone company Sprint to trace Delling to Sparks, he said.
"A motive hasn't been determined at this point," said Duke, adding that Moscow detectives were sent to northern Nevada to interview Delling.
Delling was a UI student until 2005, Duke said, adding the man has at least one relative in Moscow.
Boss was last seen alive about 8:30 p.m. Friday and is believed to have died between midnight and 12:30 a.m. Saturday, based on reports of upstairs neighbors who said they heard a noise at about that time. Boss' roommate found him on the floor about 1:45 a.m. and called for help, but medical personnel declared Boss dead at the scene.
Duke said interviews with other people in Moscow identified Delling as a "person of interest" in the case.
Boss, a history major, was due to graduate in May.
No weapon has been found, but Duke said Nevada authorities have secured a Nissan automobile. They planned to search the vehicle for possible evidence.
Boss's slaying was just the second in three years in this quiet college town on the Palouse near the Idaho-Washington border. An Idaho football player, Eric McMillan, 19, was fatally shot in his off-campus apartment in 2004. His killers are serving 20-year sentences.