Even though murdered college freshman Alexandra Kogut was starting college in a different town from her older boyfriend, the two kept in touch with playful Twitter messages anticipating each others' visits.
On Sept. 2, Clayton Whittemore, a 21-year-old student at Utica College, tweeted at his girlfriend: " Saturday can't come sooner enough."
"So excited for @Whittemore21 to come to Brockport Saturday and bring me half moons," Kogut wrote in September, according to the Utica Observer Dispatch. Her account has since been taken down.
But one ominous last Tweet suggests something went wrong during their reunion very early Saturday morning, just hours before Whittemore allegedly beat Kogut to death.
"Should've known," she wrote at 12:13 a.m.
Prosecutors believe the popular freshman at the State University of New York Brockport campus was murdered early Saturday morning by Clayton Whittemore, 21, who had apparently been visiting for the weekend.
Whittemore allegedly admitted to killing his girlfriend, according to a criminal complaint, The Associated Press reported.
On Saturday, he pleaded not guilty to second degree murder charges.
Authorities said Kogut's mother became concerned when her daughter did not answer her phone and requested campus police perform a welfare check.
During that check, campus police found the communication major dead in her room at McLean Hall early Saturday morning.
She appeared to have suffered severe trauma to her upper body, said Robert Kehoe of the Brockport Campus Police Department.
Authorities caught up with Whittemore, who attends Utica College, at a service station in the town of Dewitt, about 110 miles east of Brockport early Saturday morning.
"It's tragic when anyone loses their life," Kehoe told ABC News affiliate WHAM-TV. "When a young lady who's a college student and apparently in a safe environment, is brutally murdered as this young lady was, it's certainly a tragedy for her family and friends and the entire Brockport college community."
Students and staff were notified of the death via email, social media and a message posted on the school's website.
Kogut's family released a statement thanking the community for their support and asking for privacy during their time of grief.
"Alexandra Kogut was a bright, beautiful young woman who was thrilled to be beginning her college education," the statement said. "Her lovely and sweet demeanor was truly infectious and she will forever be missed."
On a "Remembering Alex Kogut" Facebook page, friends pledged to wear purple, the color for domestic violence awareness, today in honor of the freshman.
Whittemore remains in the custody of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon.
- Crime & Justice
- Politics & Government
- Utica College