Students at New Hartford Senior High School came to class Monday with a heavy heart. The New Hartford community is mourning the loss of one of their own, Alexandra Kogut. The Superintendent of the school district says students are coming together to get through this senseless act of violence.
"She was an outstanding young woman. Well respected by her peers and staff," said Superintendent Robert Nole.
Mr. Nole says he remembers Alex being so excited to graduate this past June. He says she was a student leader and role model.
But, the 18-year-old's life came to an end an abrupt end when she was found murdered in her dorm room this past weekend on SUNY Brockport's campus.
Police say Alex's mother was unable to reach her by phone. That's when police found her in her dorm room after her mother requested they check on her.
21-year-old Clayton Whittemore of New Hartford is accused of killing Kogut, who was reportedly visiting her. Officials say they were dating.
Whittemore was taken into custody early Saturday morning after police found him at a rest stop in Dewitt.
He is also a graduate of New Hartford High School and is currently a sophomore accounting student at Utica College.
Alex's family says they are grateful for the outpouring of love and support that they've gotten from the community.
In a statement on behalf of the Kogut family, they say Alex 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."
"We're trying to just assist them as they deal with this tragedy and assist them through the grieving process," said Nole.
Whittemore has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bond in the Monroe County Jail. He is set to be back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.