"She went off to college and thought this is the beginning of my life and unfortunately it was the end," said Valerie Murawski who lives near Hartford High School.
It was just two days ago that 18-year-old Alex Kogut, of New Hartford, was murdered. Her boyfriend 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore, also of New Hartford, is accused of beating her to death at the college of SUNY Brockport where she attended.
"Alex was an outstanding young lady. She was a leader. She was valued amongst her peers. She was Varsity Captain of the Swim Team. Well respected by everybody," said New Hartford Superintendent Robert Nole.
Both Alex and Clayton were standout athletes at New Hartford. She was on the swim team and he played hockey. Clayton also ran cross-country. They were coached by Tom Wells.
Wells talked to the local newspaper, Observer Dispatch. He said "I don't know how we are going to pick up the pieces here. The girls on my team, they're just beside themselves. There is no explanation for this."
As students and staff at New Hartford try to understand, they remember and honor their hometown girl, Alex Kogut.
"It's a sad day. Our staff members are struggling. We have additional substitute teachers in the district and we are providing whatever counseling services and support we can for staff and students today, said Nole.