Randhir kaur

UC San Francisco dentistry student Randhir Kaur was found dead in her Albany, Calif., apartment in 2015. Three years later, police have finally charged a suspect with the Indian woman’s murder. (India-West file photo)

Three years after she was found dead in her Albany, Calif., apartment, police have charged a suspect for murdering UC San Francisco dentistry student Randhir Kaur.

Kaur, 37 at the time of her death, was from Rupnagar, Punjab. Her brother, Parampreet Singh Paul, flew from Rupnagar to take Kaur’s body back to India for the final rites, after she was found dead March 9, 2015 by Albany, Calif., police.

Albany police said in a press statement issued March 12 that they have identified Keith Kenard Asbery, 33, as a suspect in Kaur’s murder. Asbery, who has been in custody since 2015 for six other crimes, was charged March 9 with murder with special circumstance by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office. He is being held without bail at Santa Rita jail in Dublin, Calif., according to Alameda County’s inmate locator. Asbery is scheduled to enter a plea March 28.

Albany police said they have not established a motive for the murder, but did note in a press statement that several items of Kaur’s were found in a garbage can in Richmond, Calif., less than two miles away from Kaur’s home.

The San Francisco Chronicle in 2015 quoted a local Richmond, Calif., woman who said that a friend of hers found Kaur’s black Coach hand-bag and a bag of bloody clothing in her trash can. According to the paper, the unnamed Richmond woman said Kaur’s school identification, credit cards, wallet, camera and an empty cell-phone case were in the bag.

Asberry is a resident of Antioch, Calif.

A spokesman for the Albany Police Department told India-West he could not comment further on the case and cited an order of the court restricting public dissemination or statements of information relative to the case. The Alameda County District Attorney’s office had not returned calls for comment by press time March 12.

In the press statement, Albany police said they went to check on Kaur March 9 after UCSF phoned the department to say they were concerned about Kaur’s safety. Several media outlets reported that Kaur had missed several meetings before she was found dead. She was last seen at the El Sobrante, Calif., gurdwara.

Asberry has a string of crimes he is connected to: in 2005, Asberry sexually assaulted a victim during a home invasion in El Cerrito, Calif. In 2008, he sexually assaulted two teenage girls near Berkeley High School, kidnapping them at gunpoint.

Then in 2015, less than two weeks before he allegedly killed Kaur, Asberry attacked a North Berkeley, Calif., woman in her home in broad daylight in what is believed to be a home invasion burglary attempt.

Kaur – who was enrolled in UCSF’s international dentistry program – was scheduled to graduate in June 2016. “Randhir was a treasured member of our community, and our hearts go out to her family and friends at this very difficult time. She will be deeply missed,” said UCSF in a statement announcing Kaur’s death (see earlier India-West story).

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