Elizabeth Howell SUNY Potsdam music student shot dead off campus. Suspect id as Michael J. Snow and having no affiliation with the school is arrested.
Upstate NY authorities have arrested a suspect in the shooting death of a SUNY Postdam student whose body was found off campus Friday night.
Elizabeth Howell, 21, was discovered lying on the side of College Park Road on Friday. Arrested in the murder of the music education student and cellist was Michael J. Snow of Massena, NY.
The man’s arrest came a day after the body of Howell’s was found according to New York State Police. Snow on Saturday was charged him with second-degree murder. Police and school officials say the suspect had no affiliation with the school.
In the time between the discovery of Howell’s body and Snow’s arrest, authorities had urged students and locals to travel in groups and keep their doors locked before police learned the shooting was an isolated incident.
It was not immediately clear what the relationship was between the two, however school administrators did confirm that Snow had ‘no affiliation with the College, either as a student, employee or graduate.’
A bright future stolen
A mugshot of Snow taken after his arrest on Saturday shows him sporting a slight smirk, alongside long, unkempt hair and a beard.
Howell, a cellist from Patterson in Putnam County, NY, was set to graduate this year with a degree in music education, the school said in a released statement.
‘Beth was a cellist who performed with the Crane Symphony Orchestra, and she was an aspiring educator with a bright future ahead of her,’ the post stated.
‘No words can express the sadness we share as a campus community following this tragic loss.’
Did suspect know his victim?
Of note, a Facebook page, belonging to the suspect described Snow as having previously attended nearby Massena Central High School and studying at University at Albany, SUNY. The page which Snow having only 167 friends indicated he was single. The last update on the profile was in 2019.
SUNY Potsdam, which is located in St. Lawrence County roughly 30 miles from the Canadian border, canceled classes for Monday in response to Howell’s death, and has also canceled or rescheduled various activities.
The liberal arts school founded in 1816, was one of the country’s first 50 colleges. With fewer than 3,000 undergraduate students. Nearly half of its students pursue studies in the sciences, social sciences or mathematics.
Meanwhile, a memorial space for Howell has since been set up inside the Hosmer Gallery in the lobby of the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at the school’s renowned Crane School of Music.
Snow was arraigned shortly after his arrest on Saturday and taken to St. Lawrence jail, where he is being held without bail WWNYTV reported.
No known motive was immediately known. An investigation into Howell’s death remains ongoing, authorities said.