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The Times
  • Probe nearing end in teacher’s fatal Old Forge shooting

  • Any day soon could bring public answers to what happened inside the Old Forge motel room where a Utica school teacher suffered a deadly gunshot wound last month, prosecutors said.

    For weeks, investigators have been tight-lipped about whether they believe 30-year-old Catherine Koestner’s fatal head injury on Aug. 25 was the result of a suicide, a homicide or something else.

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  • Any day soon could bring public answers to what happened inside the Old Forge motel room where a Utica school teacher suffered a deadly gunshot wound last month, prosecutors said.
    For weeks, investigators have been tight-lipped about whether they believe 30-year-old Catherine Koestner’s fatal head injury on Aug. 25 was the result of a suicide, a homicide or something else.
    But as investigators now near the end of heir probe, including waiting on forensic test results and a final autopsy report, prosecutors said they continue to move in the same direction toward a particular resolution.
    “At this point in time, yes, we still do have a couple of unanswered questions, but they’re aimed more at filling in some gaps and tying up some loose ends,” Herkimer County Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter said Tuesday.
    “Barring any unforeseen results, I don’t anticipate any changes in the direction of our investigation,” Carpenter said.
    Investigators have already talked to everybody they need to talk to, Carpenter said, and nobody is facing any charges at this time.
    The only known witness to the incident — Joseph Moore, 50, of Clinton — was an acquaintance of Koestner, officials said. The shooting occurred using one of Moore’s legally possessed handguns in his room at the Forge Motel at about 1 a.m. after a reported domestic argument, but Moore has only been described as a witness at this time.
    Carpenter said he has no timeline for when to expect the information to be finalized, but he anticipates Koestner’s family will be the first to hear of their findings before anything is released publicly. “I do have to have another discussion with the family of the deceased,” he said. “They should hear what we believe, from us, before they read it in the newspaper.”

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