BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — As her family mourned her death, the friends of a college freshman who police say was beaten to death in her dorm room by her boyfriend have rallied people to wear purple to raise awareness of domestic violence.
Alexandra Kogut’s body was found early Saturday at the State University of New York College at Brockport, near Rochester. Campus police discovered the 18-year-old Kogut’s body after her mother called them concerned because she couldn’t reach her, Monroe County sheriff’s spokesman John Helfer said.
Kogut’s boyfriend, Clayton Whittemore, 21, was arrested at a New York Thruway rest stop near Syracuse, 100 miles east, about an hour later. He told state troopers he intentionally killed Kogut, according to a criminal complaint. No motive was given.
The cause of death was ruled blunt force trauma, Helfer said, but he declined to say whether a weapon was used.
University officials described the slaying as an isolated tragedy that came without warning.
SUNY Brockport spokesman John Follaco said dormitories are locked at all times, and residents swipe identification cards to gain access. Guests must be signed in, and all procedures were followed in Whittemore’s case, he said.
Kogut’s family released a photo of her along with a statement asking for privacy.
‘‘Alexandra Kogut was a bright, beautiful young woman who was thrilled to be beginning her college education,’’ the family said. ‘‘Her lovely and sweet demeanor was truly infectious and she will forever be missed.’’
A Facebook page set up in Kogut’s honor had hundreds of messages of condolence Monday, and several friends and a former teacher urged supporters to wear purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which began Monday.
The Utica Observer-Dispatch reported that students at Kogut’s and Whittemore’s alma mater, New Hartford High School, wore purple T-shifts to school and released 100 purple balloons in Kogut’s memory.
New Hartford, in central New York, is about 150 miles east of Brockport.
Kogut’s childhood friend Mary Kate Heaton said the two appeared ‘‘perfectly content’’ in the relationship, which began last year.
‘‘I know she loved him a lot,’’ Heaton said by phone Monday.
Kogut was majoring in communication, university President John Halstead said.
‘‘These are trying times for our campus but I know we will pull together and support each other as we move through the coming days,’’ Halstead said in a statement.
A day before the slaying, the union representing SUNY police issued a student safety alert after what they said was months of escalating security concerns on campus ignored by SUNY.
SUNY said the Brockport slaying is unrelated to the union’s concerns about broader campus safety.
‘‘I don’t think any of the union’s concerns would have any impact or are even remotely related,’’ SUNY spokesman David Doyle said.
For more than six months, the union has pressed for better training, weapons and equipment and a higher state of alert before and during a string of three violent attacks on and around state campuses in Buffalo and Albany.
Doyle said SUNY had been investigating and discussing the concerns and a major meeting with union members is in the works but has been delayed after the system’s top administrator left the job.
Whittemore enrolled last fall at Utica College, near where he and his girlfriend grew up, and was an accounting major, college spokesman Kelly Adams said. College policy prevented him from discussing whether Whittemore had ever been in trouble on campus.
Whittemore pleaded not guilty over the weekend to a murder charge and is being held without bail in Monroe County Jail. Telephone messages left at his family’s New Hartford home and at his public defender’s office weren’t immediately returned Monday.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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