June 6, 2009

Cornell Grad Student Charged With Murder of Wife

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Cornell graduate student Blazej Kot was charged on Thursday evening with the second-degree murder of his wife, Caroline Coffey, a Cornell researcher in biomedical engineering, according to a statement issued by New York State Police.
The body of 28-year-old Coffey was found on Wednesday morning on a wooded trail in Taughannock Falls State Park. An autopsy later showed that she suffered a fatal cut to the neck, the Associated Press reported.
Police said that Kot led them on a five-minute chase on Tuesday night before crashing his vehicle. They found him with an apparent self-inflicted injury, according to the AP. The AP also reported that police later found the couple’s house on fire.
Kot’s injury was life-threatening and he was transported to Robert Packer Hospital in Northern Pennsylvania. On Thursday evening, Pennsylvania State Police arrested Kot and he was arraigned on the murder charge from his hospital bed by Pennsylvania Magistrate Jonathon Wilcox, according to a New York State Police statement.
Kot was remanded to the custody of the Bradford (Pa.) County Sheriff’s Department “without bail pending extradition proceedings,” the statement said.
Kot remained at the hospital in stable condition and under guard on Friday afternoon, according to the AP.
Coffey was a researcher in biomedical engineering, and Kot is an information science graduate student, according to the University.
“We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the news of this tragedy. We offer our support and condolences to friends, colleagues and family members of Caroline Coffey and Blazej Kot,” Vice President for University Communications Tommy Bruce said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
The University is also providing counseling services to the Cornell community, he said.

Continue to check cornellsun.com for updates on this story.