A Washington State man has been charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of a transgender teenager who disappeared in June.
David Bogdanov, 25, was taken into custody Tuesday in connection with the strangulation death of 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen.
Her remains were found by a local resident on Dec. 7 — six months after she went missing.
“They were collecting bear grass in this rural area of the county and found this human skull,” Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp tells PEOPLE.
Kuhnhausen was last seen alive in the early morning hours of June 6 when she showed up at her friends’ house around 5 a.m. wearing a man’s coat and carrying a bottle of vodka.
According to a probable cause statement obtained by PEOPLE, Kuhnhausen allegedly said she had been out with an “’older’ Russian male.’”
She left the house again shortly thereafter, informing her friends that she was going to meet up with the same man.
They never saw her again.
Kuhnhausen’s mother reported her missing on June 10.
Police later determined that Kuhnhausen allegedly communicated with Bogdanov via Snapchat around 5:30 a.m., before she left her friends’ house.
“We knew they had communicated, and that they had met, and she [had been] in his vehicle,” says Kapp.
Bogdanov told police during an Oct. 2 interview that he first met Kuhnhausen on a downtown Vancouver street and invited her to a bar with him and his brothers.
He admitted to meeting up with her again later that night.
Bogdanov told police he and Kuhnhausen were sitting outside his brother’s house in a van, “’chit chatting,’ during which time Nikki told him that she was biologically male,” according to the court document. “David said he was ‘shocked,’ ‘uncomfortable,’ and ‘really, really disturbed’ to learn Nikki was [born] male and [he] asked her to get out of the van and leave.”
Bogdanov claimed Kuhnhausen then got out of the van and walked away. After that, Bogdanov said he headed to work at a job site.
According to the police, Bogdanov’s phone records did not indicate that we went to the job site, but “instead drove out to the area of Larch Mountain in east Clark County and returned to [his brother’s] residence approximately an hour and twenty-five minutes later.”
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
Kuhnhausen’s skull was found on Dec. 7 on a steep wooded embankment in the Larch Mountain area. Also found was a set of hair extensions.
“Attached to the hair was what appeared to be a ligature,” the document reads. “The hair was bound in the knot of the ligature.”
The teen’s death was later ruled a homicide by asphyxiation.
Bogdanov was arrested Dec. 17 and is currently being housed at the Clark County Jail.
He has yet to enter a plea.
A bail hearing and his arraignment will be held on Jan.2.
His attorney, Erin Bradley McAleer, says his client will be entering a not guilty plea.
“We will be entering a not guilty plea,” McAleer tells PEOPLE. “Mr. Bogdanov looks forward to fighting this case in the future.”
McAleer says he will be asking for his client to be released on bail.
“We disagree with the prosecuting attorney’s assertion that he is such a danger to the community that bail is not appropriate.
Bogdanov works as a construction worker and grew up in Vancouver, he says.