CBS' 48 Hours: Who killed Nikki Kuhnhausen and where is he now? 

David Bogdanov was found guilty of second-degree murder in trans teen Nikki Kuhnhausen 2019 murder case (Image via 48 Hours/YouTube)
David Bogdanov was found guilty of second-degree murder in trans teen Nikki Kuhnhausen 2019 murder case (Image via 48 Hours/YouTube)

Washington-native David Bogdanov was found guilty of murdering transgender teenager Nikki Kuhnhausen in 2019, and he was sentenced to jail for 19 and a half years. The 17-year-old's remains were discovered on Larch Mountain six months after she mysteriously disappeared.

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Eyebrows were raised at David since the initial stages of the investigation since he was the last person Nikki met on June 6, 2019, before her disappearance. The former tried to cover his tracks by providing misinformation to the police. However, when cell tower records traced his phone to Larch Mountain on the day of the victim's disappearance, authorities arrested him.

According to reports, a jury convicted 27-year-old Bogdanov of second-degree murder and malicious harassment, a classified hate crime under Washington laws, over two years after the heinous crime. He was punished for two offences which determined his sentence, 234 months in prison for second-degree murder and 12 months in concurrent prison time for malicious harassment.

This Pride Month, 48 Hours will showcase the tragic story of the late trans teen Nikki Kuhnhausen's murder and David Mogdanov's trial for the same on Saturday, June 25, 2022.


Exploring the whereabouts of Nikki Kuhnhausen's murderer David Bogdanov

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Detectives found that David Bogdanov was the last person Nikki Kuhnhausen had seen before her disappearance. He said that he had asked Nikki to get out of his vehicle upon learning that she was transgender. According to him, she left and he never saw her again. Bogdanov was eventually arrested after the discovery of the body since cell tower records indicate his presence at the site of the murder on that day.

Although his initial conversation with authorities didn't give them much to go upon after he admitted to having met Nikki that evening, he found it difficult to defend himself once the police started using the evidence as leverage. Bogdanov was immediately detained and accused of murdering the teenager.

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During his trial in court, the accused testified that Kuhnhausen had reached for the loaded firearm he kept next to the driver's seat when he had demanded that she leave his car. He claimed to have wrapped a cord around her shoulders in an attempt to stop her from taking his gun, but the cable wound up around her neck instead. Prior to the trial, a medical examiner had revealed that Nikki's death had been caused by strangulation.

The prosecution argued that David had disposed of the dead body on Larch Mountain and left for Ukraine only to return to the US six weeks later. They also stated that he had committed the murder in rage as a hate-crime upon discovering Nikki Kuhnhausen's transgender identity. Bogdanov lied to officials on several occasions which definitely did not help his case.

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David, at the age of 27, was ultimately found guilty in Nikki Kuhnhausen's 2019 murder case, and sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison. He remains behind bars till date at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, Mason County.

Post the trial, Liden Walls from the Justice for Nikki task force, commented on the jury's decision, saying,

"We were all holding hands while we were awaiting the verdict to be read and that was really powerful. It felt like we were all together … and the sense of relief that came that we got justice for Nikki, that we were able to push this and the jury could see it and did the right thing. That felt really good."

There could never have been a better time to honor the late Nikki Kuhnhausen and the legacy she left behind. CBS' 48 Hours is all set to explore her tragedy in its upcoming episode on June 25, 2022.

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Edited by Mohini Banerjee