(BROCKPORT, N.Y.) — The boyfriend of a college student who was found beaten to death in her upstate New York dorm room has been charged with murder.
Clayton Whittemore, 21, allegedly admitted to causing the death of his girlfriend, who has not been publicly identified, according to a felony complaint obtained by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
Whittemore, who is represented by a public defender, pleaded not guilty Saturday at his arraignment in Sweden Town Court.
The victim’s mother contacted campus police at the State University of New York in Brockport after she became concerned her daughter was not answering her cell phone, officials said.
Campus police found the young woman 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.
Police caught up with Whittemore a short time later at a service station in the town of Dewitt, about 110 miles east of Brockport.
“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.
“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,” school officials said.
The college’s counseling center remained open today for students grieving the loss.
Whittemore is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon.
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Ralph Ellis, Randi Kaye and Dakin Andone, CNN
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