BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say the boyfriend of a college freshman found beaten to death in her dorm room has admitted intentionally killing her.
Alexandra Kogut's body was found early Saturday at the SUNY Brockport. Monroe County Sheriff's spokesman John Helfer says campus police discovered Kogut's body after her mother called them concerned because she couldn't reach her.
Her boyfriend, 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore (pictured right), was arrested at a Thruway rest stop near Syracuse about an hour later.
A criminal complaint says Whittemore told state troopers that he intentionally killed the 18-year-old Kogut. No motive was given.
Whittemore has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is being held without bail.
As her family mourned her death, Kogut's friends have rallied people to wear purple to raise awareness of domestic violence.
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.
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.
TIMELINE: Statements from the SUNY College At Brockport:
The College at Brockport, State University of New York, President John R. Halstead released the following statement(Sept. 30) regarding the death of Brockport student Alexandra Kogut, 18, of New Hartford, N.Y. Kogut was a freshman majoring in communication.
“On behalf of our entire campus community, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Alexandra Kogut. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones at this difficult time. 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.”
Sept. 29, 2012:
This morning, a female student was discovered deceased under suspicious circumstances by University Police officers. There is no reason to believe that any other members of the campus community are endangered in any way. University Police is being assisted by the Monroe County Sherriff’s Department in this investigation. The thoughts and prayers of the entire College at Brockport community are with the family and friends of this student.
More details will be made available as they become available. Please check back for more information.
A temporary Parent Hotline has been established to field questions and concerns from parents. That number is 585-734-3925.
"We want to provide an update regarding the death of the female student on our campus this morning.
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.