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Flight Risk | Should Be Alive, episode 4

In episode four of KGW's podcast 'Should Be Alive,' David Bogdanov's defense team presents a new narrative about the day Nikki Kuhnhausen died.

VANCOUVER, Wash — Listen to Should Be Alive on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Stitcher.

In late December 2019, loved ones and community members held a vigil for Nikki Kuhnhausen. Her remains had recently been discovered on Larch Mountain in rural Clark County, Washington. Upon the discovery, detectives arrested 25-year-old David Bogdanov for Nikki’s murder and Clark County prosecutors began preparing for trial. They charged Bogdanov with second-degree murder and malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime charge. 

Because Bogdanov had no criminal history, a judge set bail at $750,000. But after the initial bail hearing, detectives discovered that Bogdanov took a one-way flight to Kiev, Ukraine on the day of the murder. Prosecutors brought the revelation back in front of the judge and asked for bail to be increased. The judge raised Bogdanov’s bail to $2 million and he remained behind bars ahead of trial.

As prosecutors began preparing for trial, they were tasked with presenting a case that showed Bogdanov killed Nikki because she was transgender. Their case was largely based on circumstantial evidence. The state had the cell phone charging cord found at Larch Mountain, where Nikki’s remains were discovered. The cord was knotted around hair and a piece of bone from Nikki’s neck, indicating Nikki was strangled. Prosecutors also knew that Bogdanov’s phone pinged in the Larch Mountain area the morning Nikki disappeared. Lastly, prosecutors had derogatory statements Bogdanov made about gay and transgender people during his first interview with police.

Two weeks before Bogdanov’s trial began, the defense team threw a curveball. They announced that Bogdanov was going to claim self-defense as the reason he killed Nikki. During the trial, they would present a new narrative that alleged Nikki was the aggressor and Bogdanov was the victim.

Background reading:

RELATED: Why KGW's 'Should Be Alive' podcast explores Nikki Kuhnhausen's murder

RELATED: A timeline of Vancouver teen Nikki Kuhnhausen’s disappearance, suspect arrest | Should Be Alive

New episodes of Should Be Alive drop every Wednesday through June 29. Listen on your favorite podcast apps including Apple PodcastsSpotify, Amazon Music, and Stitcher.

Listen to episode four of Should Be Alive:

WATCH: Should Be Alive YouTube playlist

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