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An aspiring educator and accomplished cellist who grew up in Patterson was murdered Friday near the upstate SUNY Potsdam campus where she was a senior.
Elizabeth Howell, 21, a 2018 graduate of Brewster High School, was found unconscious with gunshot wounds on College Park Road near the entrance to the college about 5:50 p.m. on Feb. 18. She was transported to Canton Potsdam Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Michael Snow, 31, of Massena, NY, was charged with one count of second-degree murder in connection with the homicide. On the date of the homicide, State Police said Snow was observed operating a gray Honda Civic that had damage to the driver’s side door.
State Police, the Potsdam Police Department, University Police Department at SUNY Potsdam, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Department of Homeland Security are continuing to investigate what appears to be a random crime.
A preliminary investigation determined Snow’s vehicle passed through Potsdam, Hopkinton, Malone, Westville, Hogansburg and Massena between 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 18.
Snow was arraigned in Town of Potsdam Court and was remanded to St. Lawrence County Jail with no bail.
Howell, an honors student, was studying music education in the college’s Crane School of Music and played in the Crane Symphony Orchestra. Classes were canceled Monday and plans are underway for a memorial service.
“We are in disbelief at the sudden loss of one of our own, Elizabeth Howell ’22, a music education student at our Crane School of Music. Our thoughts are with all of Beth’s friends and family during this difficult time,” SUNY Potsdam posted on Facebook. “Beth was a cellist who performed with the Crane Symphony Orchestra, and she was an aspiring educator with a bright future ahead of her. No words can express the sadness we share as a campus community following this tragic loss.”
The Brewster Teachers Association also released a statement on the tragedy.
“We are deeply saddened by the news that a former student of ours, Elizabeth “Beth” Howell, was tragically killed on Friday night in Potsdam, NY. She was a 2018 graduate. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and all who had the privilege to teach, coach and know her.”
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/