The murder of Kathy Chou by her ex-boyfriend, Ezekiel James Watkins, is featured on Investigation Discovery’s Someone You Thought You Knew.
On April 18, 2010, Chou — a 19-year-old high school senior — vanished while walking in the park in Renton, Washington. Police interviewed her ex-boyfriend, who told them that he was at his friend Jon Carpenter’s house playing video games at the time of Chou’s disappearance.
Carpenter confirmed his story, and Watkins was released from the police station.
In June 2011, Chou’s friend Giovanni Candelario reached out to the police and told them that he saw Watkins on the night of Chou’s disappearance. He stated that Watkins went to the home he shared with Carpenter and asked for a shovel.
Candelario said Watkins was covered in blood and mud, and he had a gash on his lip.
Investigators then re-interviewed Watkins at the police station. He admitted to asking Carpenter for a shovel, but he said it was only to bury a duck. Detectives stated that it didn’t make any sense for Watkins to ask for as shovel as he lived on a farm, and they were almost certain that he had a shovel of his own. The then-22-year-old initially denied having anything to do with Chou’s disappearance.
However, he eventually caved in. Watkins confessed to seeing Chou that night and spending two, three hours with her at the park. He said they got into an argument about her interfering in his new relationship.
Watkins told the police that he slit her throat with a knife. He then contacted Carpenter to help him bury Chou’s’ body in a wooded area near the park. He told investigators that he had planned her murder for days.
With Watkins and Carpenter’s cooperation, they were able to locate Chou’s remains.
Watkins was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He was held at the King County Jail on a $1 million bond.
He was convicted and sentenced to 27 years in prison.
Someone You Thought You Knew — High School Homicide, airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.