UPDATE: 4:44 p.m. EDT — Authorities have confirmed that Ashley Hasti, the woman found dead in a Minnesota home who was on a “kill list” linked to Wednesday’s murder-suicide at UCLA, was married to the shooter, Mainak Sarkar. WCCO in Minneapolis confirmed with a local county clerk’s office that Hasti married Sarkar on June 14, 2011. The University of Minnesota told the news channel that Hasti had enrolled at the university’s medical school in 2012 after receiving a degree in Asian languages and literature from the university in 2008.
— WCCO - CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) June 2, 2016
A woman found dead in Minnesota could be another murder victim of the man who law enforcement has named as the gunman in the murder-suicide Wednesday on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, according to a new report. Neighbors identified the woman as Ashley Hasti, a University of Minnesota Medical School student in her early 30s, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Hasti has been identified online as either the current or ex-girlfriend of Mainak Sarkar, and multiple photos on his Facebook page show the two together. Hasti's neighbors said Thursday that police had questioned them about her.
Police in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn Park, the small town on the outskirts of Minneapolis where the woman was found dead, declined to confirm Hasti as the victim. They cited next-of-kin notification and the ongoing investigation.
Investigators found the woman's body after a note at the UCLA shooting scene asked that someone check on Sarkar’s cat at his home in Minnesota. When investigators there checked the address, they found a “kill list” that led them to the woman's body. William Klug, the professor who was shot during the UCLA murder-suicide Wednesday, was also on the list. Another UCLA professor was also listed, but that person is reportedly safe.
Sarkar is said to have killed UCLA engineering professor William Klug Wednesday armed with two semiautomatic pistols, several magazines and was “prepared to engage in multiple victims,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told reporters during a Thursday press briefing.
Investigators are looking for a 2003 grey Nissan Sentra that Sarkar is said to have driven to California to commit the crime. They hope that the car will provide further clues that clarify a motive in the case. Deleted blog posts from March show that Sarkar was upset with Klug, his former professor, and alleged that the academic stole code from him while he was studying at UCLA. Sarkar finished school there in 2013.
Even so, some said that Sarkar wasn’t always upset with Klug. In his doctoral thesis he expressed gratitude for the professor.