Police investigating person of interest Robert Koehler in Kristen Marti case

Posted at 11:03 PM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 12:39:10-04

San Luis Obispo police announced on Thursday the name of the person of interest in the death investigation of 26-year-old Kristen Marti.

Kristen Marti was reported missing on January 18. She was last seen alive in Prefumo Canyon on January 9. Her body was found March 25.

Police say their person of interest is 36-year-old Robert Koehler of Arroyo Grande. Police believe he was one of the last people to see Marti before she went missing.

KSBY News found and spoke with two of Koehler’s former roommates on Thursday. They say they were home when police came knocking, looking for Koehler.

"We were jaw dropped," said Anthony Cool. "We didn’t think it was him. I mean, he was a friend at first and he worked on all our cars."

Koehler owns his own mobile mechanic business where he travels throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. That’s how his former roommates met him.

Anthony Cool and his girlfriend, Kayden Kitman-Hoyte, were shocked to hear their former roommate was named as a person of interest in the Kristen Marti case.

"I got a knock on my window early morning, so me and my boyfriend we answered the door and it was the detectives asking if we had any idea where Robert was," explained Kitman-Hoyte.

This was back in March.

"When they investigated the house, it was, ‘Oh, we’re grabbing, this, this…’ We’re like, ‘Wait a minute.’ This was all weird to us," Cool said.

Kitman-Hoyte says Koehler was her mom’s mobile mechanic since November of last year after finding him online. He then worked on Kayden’s cars in December and January.

"Then we decided to let him move in because he had said he needed a place to stay and I was homeless at one time when I was pregnant so that’s why we felt the need to help," Kitman-Hoyte said.

She says Koehler moved in with them in rural Arroyo Grande on March 1 but she and Cool moved out shortly after police came to their door.

"I felt unsafe then because I was so scared. I never thought that something like this could happen in real life," she said.

Thursday evening, we tried to contact Koehler at the house. There was a large gate surrounding the home. We asked if anyone was home but there was no response. Lights in the house were turning on and off. We then called Koehler’s wife, also said to live at the home, but our call was not answered.

Meanwhile, police are asking for help.

"If anybody has information of his whereabouts or his activity on or around January 9 of the time that Kristin Marti went missing, we would really like to get that information from anybody who has that," said Lt. John Bledsoe with the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Police say the red Chevy Blazer that was the vehicle of interest in the case is in their possession. Police have said they are treating the case as a homicide. They add that Koehler is the only person they are actively investigating in connection with Marti’s death.

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