Myspace Doesn't End At Death

Katie Knudson, 24 -- Shot

E-mail this post


All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of More...


Katie Knudson’s friends and family were uneasy with her relationship with a 26-year-old Massachusetts native, but no one quite knew why.

It was unclear how Knudson, 24, met Paul Ellslager, with whom she fell in love and shared an apartment.

Authorities now are trying to figure out why she was found slain early Thursday morning, with Ellslager critically injured nearby.

Lee County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the incident, which began with Ellslager calling 911 needing medical help about 2 a.m.

Deputies arrived to find Knudson behind the wheel of a crashed 1993 Ford Crown Victoria sitting in a ditch off Metro Parkway near Page Field.

Friends painted a positive picture of the 24-year-old south Fort Myers woman, whom they described as always smiling and full of life.

They described Ellslager — who has an extensive criminal record in his native Massachusetts — as friendly, but maybe not the best person for Knudson.

“She’s not the type of girl to be involved in that type of situation,” said her roommate, April Odegard, 22. “I think she just fell in love with the wrong guy.”

Odegard and Knudson moved in together last July, at an apartment at 7811 Reflections Cove Drive.

Odegard’s cousin, a friend of Knudson’s through a church group, introduced the pair.

They were both looking for an apartment and decided to move in together.

But Odegard said she wasn’t expecting a third roommate at their apartment.

She said Ellslager moved in almost immediately, and he and Knudson spent all their time together, much of it at the apartment.

Odegard said she spent most of her time in her room — partially to give the couple space, but also because she said Ellslager rubbed her the wrong way.

“She’s a very sweet girl,” Odegard said of her roommate. “I had a bad feeling about him. It was just an uncomfortable feeling to be (home) when he’s here.”

Ellslager was friendly — often more so than she expected — but something still seemed amiss, Odegard said.

When she suggested he pay rent, Knudson became upset.

“That didn’t go over well — she wouldn’t have him pay for anything,” she said.”

Phillip Gonzales of Fort Myers, a friend of the couple, said they got along well.

“Paul adored her and doted on her,” he said. “Nobody I know ever saw anything bad between them.”

But still, Gonzales and other friends wondered whether Knudson should be with him.

Just weeks before she was killed, Knudson, 24, considered moving to North Carolina, where her family had relocated.

Gonzales said Ellslager was not part of those plans.

“She at some point realized that a future with him was not the future she thought was best,” Gonzales said.

Knudson decided to stay in Lee County, he said, because of misunderstandings with her family.

Odegard said Knudson discussed a potential move to North Carolina, but that she decided otherwise.

After that, Knudson, a beautician, found a new job at Beverly’s Hair Affair in south Fort Myers.

Ellslager also began working as a mechanic with the Blue Bird Taxi company.

Calls to both businesses were not returned Friday night.

Ellslager remained in critical condition Friday night, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi.

Deputies have not revealed how Knudson died, except to say the crash did not kill her or injure Ellslager.

Sheriff’s spokesmen initially indicated a shooting but later declined to discuss the cause.

The Crown Victoria appeared to have bullet holes in the front-passenger door and rear-passenger window.

It was not known whether anyone else was in the car at the time of the slaying.

LiMarzi said detectives were following up on leads Friday and did not have any suspects.



Search DeathSpace