A Hudson Valley woman who was just weeks away from graduating, in hopes of becoming a teacher in the region, was killed near her college apartment.

Elizabeth Howell, 21, of Putnam County was murdered near her college, SUNY Potsdam. The Hudson Valley native was a cellist in the school of music and was set to graduate this year. She hoped to become a teacher.


A grand jury indicted her alleged killer. 31-year-old Michael Snow of Massena has been charged with murder, manslaughter, assault, and criminal use of a firearm.

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On Friday, Feb. 18, around 5:51 p.m., Potsdam police responded to a report of an unconscious female on College Park Road in the village of Potsdam. Responding patrols located the 21-year-old victim lying on the side of the road with gunshot wounds.

Howell, of Patterson, New York, was transported to Canton Potsdam Hospital where she was pronounced deceased.

Following an investigation into the homicide, 31-year-old Michael Snow of Massena was charged with one count of murder.

On the date of the homicide, Snow was observed operating the below-pictured vehicle, a gray Honda Civic bearing NY registration KVE2731. The vehicle has damage to the driver’s side door.

New York State Police allege Snow fatally shot Howell but did not disclose a motive.

It's not known at this time if Snow and Howell knew each other but representatives with SUNY Potsdam say Snow had no affiliation with the school.

"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 stated. "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."

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