Campus memorial for murder victim Wednesday

Sean Joseph

Trimble to be indicted on 12 counts of attempted murder

A campus memorial service for Sarah Positano, the Kent State senior who was murdered Jan. 21, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Kiva.

James E. Trimble, 44, of Brimfield Township, who was charged with the murder of Renee Bauer, 42, Dakota Bauer, 7, and Positano will be arraigned today at 11 a.m. in the Portage County Court of Common Pleas. Trimble was indicted Thursday by the grand jury on 12 counts of attempted murder. Trimble is also scheduled to appear in front of Judge John A. Enlow for a pre-trial on March 25, according to court records.

A funeral for family members and close friends of Positano, who was a coach’s assistant for the gymnastics team, will be held this morning in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, said Brice Biggin, head gymnastics coach. Biggin is currently on a recruiting trip in Orlando but said the whole senior class of the gymnastics team and assistant coach Sharon Pearson left for the funeral over the weekend.

Students and members of the community will have a chance to remember Positano at the campus memorial service. President Carol Cartwright, Athletic Director Laing Kennedy, Biggin and some of Positano’s roommates and teammates will be among others speaking in her memory, Biggin said.

Those who attend the memorial will have the opportunity to place a flower and light a candle by a picture of Positano in remembrance, said Denise Zehner, director of special events for the athletic department.

“We have the intent to honor Sarah’s memory and the person she was and provide comfort for the students and those who knew her,” Zehner said.

Positano had everything going for her, Biggin said. She was a senior physical education major scheduled to graduate in May and had a good job with a private gym, he said.

The gymnastics team won its first meet since Positano’s death Friday against Ball State. It went unbelievably well, Biggin said.

“You can ask any of the kids that were there. There was a presence at the gym on Friday, and I felt very certain that it was Sarah,” Biggin said.

Positano’s picture was placed on the center of a cross next to a bouquet of roses that sat outside 3729 Ranfield Road, where she was murdered. Positano’s two friends and roommates, Kristy Kochajda and Jessie James, wrote messages to her on decorative ribbons.

“Sweetest Sarah, my roommate and best friend, you have filled my heart with happiness and memories that will be embraced and remembered for as long as I live. You are in my heart and prayers forever. I miss you and love you,” Kochajda wrote.

Another, written by James read, “Sarah, my roommate, my friend, you have touched my life and countless others. You will be in my heart and soul every moment of my life. I love and will miss you.”

Kochajda and James were not at their home when Positano was killed, Biggin said. James had gone out to dinner, and Kochajda was visiting her father who had come to town, Biggin said.

“It’s kind of a miracle in itself that there weren’t any more people at home,” Biggin said. Kochajda and James “felt really bad but can never feel guilty because that’s just the way things turned out.”

Biggin remembered that Positano loved to go shopping with her team, he said.

Positano’s responsibilities to the gymnastics team during meets involved helping with the lineup, coaching warm-ups and talking to individuals before and after their routines, Biggin said.

“There weren’t many days (Positano) came into the gym without a smile,” Biggin said. “When things become hectic for the coaches, she was always a calming presence.”

Contact safety reporter Sean Joseph at [email protected].