COBLESKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A woman from Long Island is credited for the renewed interest in a Schoharie County cold case from 49 years ago. She has generated new leads and has reignited the community’s calls for justice for Kathy Kolodziej, who they will remember with a vigil on November 13.
Who murdered Kathy Kolodziej? That is the question many have been grappling with since 1974 when she was last seen alive at the vault tavern in Cobleskill – which is now a law office.
It was Halloween night. Kolodziej was only 17 years old when she was murdered. She was from Long Island and was a student at SUNY Cobleskill.
Tony Desmond was the state trooper who responded to the call when her body was found.
“There’s only three of us still around living, the rest have passed away that were actually involved with that case when Kathy was first missing,” said Desmond.
He’s glad to see someone has sparked interest in the case again. Michelina Serino moved to the county two years ago from Long Island and moved to Schoharie County two years ago and has been interviewing people about the murder.
“Yes I think it’s very good to get a new set of eyes looking at it, who is unbiased. She’s done that and I think she’s talked to several people. She has a lot of records and notes on what she’s found out,” said Desmond.
Serino has been in regular communication with the current New York State Police investigators on the case and shares information when she comes across it.
“A woman did come forward recently to me and she was just afraid to speak back then because of what she thought…I gave the information to the investigator, so I won’t get into that right now because it’s not vetted yet,” said Serino.
She said investigators are looking into using genealogy to solve the case. Serino plans on hosting a vigil in Cobleskill in the upcoming weeks to remember Kolodziej and she hopes it will lead to finding more information on the case.
“It’s been 49 years now. I was hoping through this it would maybe bring it to other people’s attention again and get it back out there again because then people jog their memories,” said Serino.
“I don’t know if the person that’s responsible for Kathy’s death is still living or what. I don’t know, but somebody somewhere I think knows what happened,” said Desmond.
He and Serino are confident someone somewhere knows something and they urge anyone with information to come forward, adding it can be done anonymously.
“It’s been tough on myself and a couple other guys who are retired from the State Police. We still talk about this case but then we’re more frustrated than anything else, but we want to see it solved,” said Desmond. “If it can’t be solved, at least when we are not around, somebody else will pick it up and keep working on it and keep Kathy’s memory alive.”