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News of the death of Caroline M. Coffey, who graduated from Scranton Prep in 1998, was rippling throughout the area Thursday afternoon. Friends who remembered her as a kind, intelligent and accomplished woman expressed grief and shock at the still emerging details of her murder.

Police say Ms. Coffey died from a “massive laceration to the front of her neck.”

Police have called her husband Blazej J. Kot, 24, a suspect, but he has not been charged. He is at an Ithaca area hospital recovering from surgery for self inflicted wounds with “an edged weapon,” police said.

According to a police report, Mr. Tuesday when he drove into a closed parking lot at Taughannock Falls State Park. He led police on a five mile, high speed chase before stopping. Officers said he inflicted a “life threatening” injury on himself.

Police then went to the couple’s apartment and found it on fire, but Ms. Coffey was not there. State police ruled the fire arson.

Ms. Coffey’s body was discovered the next morning by hikers on a trail about 400 yards from the apartment, according to police. She was wearing a blood stained shirt and jogging pants, and had reached the area on her own, witnesses and law enforcement officials said, according to the Ithaca Journal.

Born in Ireland, Ms. Coffey, 28, grew up with her parents Michael and Patricia Coffey and her brother Paul at 401 Brighton Drive in Clarks Green.

Ms. Coffey loved horses and was an accomplished rider. She had a horse named Irish Mist “Jimmy” for short whom she visited often at Candy Apple Farms in Dalton, said Jeff Gilotti whom she dated during their sophomore year.

After graduating from Scranton Prep, she earned a degree in biology from the University of Scranton and a doctorate in comparative medical science from Cornell University.

“She always excelled,” said Dimitra Livanos Hollow, who was friends with Ms. Coffey in high school. They recently reconnected when Ms. Coffey showed up at her house with a mutual friend and helped her move into a new house.

“She was very kind and very smart,” Ms. Hollow said. She was also strong willed, she said. “She was her own person.”

Ms. Coffey met Mr. Kot while at Cornell, Ms. Hollow said.

After graduate school, Ms. Coffey took a teaching job at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. But the couple continued to date, friend David Rossi said. He lives in Philadelphia and was also friends with Ms. Coffey since high school.

“He would drive down here religiously to see her,” Mr. Rossi said. He described Mr. Kot as “very, very laid back.”

“He was a nice gentleman, very educated,” he said.

Ms. Coffey then received a grant, returned to Ithaca and was performing stem cell research, Mr. Rossi said.

On May 2, the couple married in Costa Rica.

“It was an amazing ceremony on the beach at sunset,” said friend Denise Millon, of Carbondale, who now lives in Atlanta.

Ms. Coffey loved to travel and had recently visited the Galapagos Islands and to Poland, where Mr. Kot is from, Ms. Millon said. The couple had planned a visit to Germany in October.
ugg boots short black Scranton Prep grad killed in Ithaca