Campus community mourns death of freshman from New Hartford
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BROCKPORT, N.Y. -- The College at Brockport campus continues to mourn the loss of a student killed early Saturday morning.
Alexandra Kogut, 18, of New Hartford was killed in her dorm room at the college. Deputies say the cause of death is blunt force trauma. Her boyfriend, Clayton Whittemore, also of New Hartford, has been charged with her murder.
A freshman student living in Kogut's residence hall says Whittemore had visited Kogut at her dorm before.
Katie Frieh said, "She was really outgoing. She was really nice. I was actually close with her. She was a great girl. Something terrible must have happened. Everything seemed great on the outside. Something bad must have happened for him to freak out like this."
Campus leaders say Kogut was recruited for the school's swim team. The team's first practice is scheduled for today.
A spokesman for the Kogut family released a statement saying, "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."
A vigil for the campus community only is scheduled for Monday at 9:30 p.m.
Grief counselors are also available for students on the Brockport campus to help them deal with the loss. Brockport's president released a statement Sunday which read in part, "On behalf of our entire campus community, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of our student who was tragically killed yesterday morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones at this difficult time."
As for Clayton Whittemore, he is expected back in court on Thursday. He was taken into custody at the Thruway rest stop in DeWitt. He's being held without bail pending Thursday's appearance.
Meanwhile, Kogut's death is having a big impact in New Hartford, especially because the suspect is also from there.
A number of New Hartford High School students and faculty wore purple to school Monday to raise awareness for domestic violence. School officials say even such small gesture can help the school and the community deal with the tragedy.
"Whatever assists the students and staff with the grieving process, symbolic items are always important. Again, we just want them to facilitate the grieving process as best as they can to get through this tragic incident," Superintendent Robert Nole said.
The school will also have additional counseling on hand for those affected.