Updated 10/01/2012 08:39 AM
New Hartford community wearing purple to remember Alexandra Kogut
A number of New Hartford High School students are planning to wear purple today to raise awareness for domestic violence. Alexandra Kogut, 18, of New Hartford -- a freshman at the College at Brockport -- was found dead in her dorm room early Saturday morning. Authorities say her boyfriend, Clayton Whittemore, 21, also of New Hartford, is responsible for her death. Our Brad Vivacqua has more from New Hartford High School.
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NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. -- Alex Kogut, 18, - a freshman at the College at Brockport - was well liked and very popular in the New Hartford community and her death is hitting home with many people in the area. Word is spreading on social media for people to wear purple today to raise awareness of domestic violence.
According to the Remember Alex Kogut Facebook page and on Twitter, a number of students and staff at New Hartford High School plan to do just that.
Authorities say Clayton Whittemore, also from New Hartford, is responsible for Kogut's death. Investigators say Whittemore was visiting Kogut at the College at Brockport Friday night. Kogut was found by campus security inside her dorm room early Saturday after her mother called concerned about her welfare. Authorities say she suffered severe trauma to her upper body. Whittemore was taken into custody at a Thruway rest stop near DeWitt.
Whittemore, a sophomore at Utica College, entered a not guilty plea to a charge of second-degree murder. He's being held without bail pending his upcoming appearance.
Meanwhile Kogut's family released a statement thanking the community for their support. In a statement released Sunday, Kogut's family said, "Alexandra Kogut was a bright, beautiful young woman who was thrilled to be beginning her college education. Her lovely and sweet demeanor was truly infectious and she will forever be missed. Her family is very grateful for the tremendous outpouring of love and support that they have received from so many friends and neighbors. They ask that their privacy be respected during this time of grief. The family will make no further comment."
Many people here in the New Hartford community will have heavy hearts today. Grief counselors continue to meet with students on the Brockport campus to help them deal with the loss. A remembrance vigil is scheduled for tonight on the college campus.