A photograph of Kogut's face was displayed in front of the church as her godparents, Victor Gerace and Kelly Kogut, wept and spoke on behalf of her parents, The Utica Observer-Dispatch reported.
"We are comforted by knowing Alex was at a very good time in her life — so happy and optimistic — because some people never achieve the happiness she had," Gerace read from their statement.
"Our message to you today is please don't let anger cloud your memories of Alex," Kelly Kogut read. "It's very important to us that you do not harbor any hatred. Our hope is that you will celebrate her love and her life, rather than remember the few tragic moments that took her from us."
Kogut was one month into her first year at college, majoring in communications, when authorities say she was killed during a visit by Whittemore, an accounting student at Utica College. Whittemore told state troopers he intentionally killed Kogut, according to a criminal complaint. No motive was given.
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