• Minot State University student Anita Knutson was found stabbed to death in her North Dakota apartment in June 2007
  • Police said her then-roommate Nichole Rice had always been a person of interest in the case
  • Rice was taken into custody without incident on Wednesday afternoon

The roommate of a college student who was found stabbed to death inside the North Dakota apartment they shared has been arrested for the slaying nearly 15 years later.

On Wednesday, officers with the Minot Police Department announced the arrest of 34-year-old Nichole Rice in connection to the 2007 murder of 18-year-old college student Anita Knutson.

Rice was a civilian worker at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota when she was taken into custody without incident on Wednesday afternoon, according to Minot Police Chief John Klug.

"It was a relief," Klug said of the arrest during a news conference Wednesday evening. "It was good to know that finally the one case that we've had hanging out there, that we just could not get to a solution, was finally over."

On June 4, 2007, Knutson’s father called police after not hearing from his daughter for a few days, KXNET-TV reported.

When officers arrived at the Minot State University student's apartment, they found Knutson stabbed to death in her bedroom and covered with a large housecoat. Knutson had multiple stab wounds, and a bloody knife had been left behind in a sink, according to NBC News.

At the time, the apartment's front door had been locked, and her roommate claimed to be gone for the weekend. Nothing seemed to be missing from the apartment, but the screen from Knutson's bedroom window had been slashed.

The police chief said Rice, who was Knutson's roommate at the time of her death, had always been a person of interest in the case, but they lacked enough evidence to arrest her until now.

"I wish we could have solved this sooner, but at the same time, I'm glad to say that we have the person responsible for the murder of Anita Knutson in custody," Klug said.

Police said they received a tip that Rice admitted to William May, while at a party, to killing Knutson, KXNET-TV reported, citing an affidavit revealed Thursday.

Rice and May dated for some months in either 2008 or 2009, and at a party with their friends during this time period, Knutson’s murder was brought up, the affidavit said.

A possible motive for the murder has not been disclosed by authorities.

Rice has been charged with felony intentional murder and is being held at the Ward County Jail, CBS News reported, citing police. She made her initial court appearance in Ward County Thursday.

Judge Richard Hagar set her cash bond at $120,000 and her corporate surety bond at $250,000.

Rice's preliminary hearing is set for April 21.

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