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Still no answers for family of victim in Old Forge shooting

By JOLEEN FERRIS

OLD FORGE, N.Y. (WKTV) - Two and a half weeks after 30-year-old Catherine Koestner, of Utica, died of a gunshot wound to the head in an Old Forge motel room, her family still doesn't have any definitive answers as to why; whether their daughter is a suicide victim, homicide victim or accident victim.

Tuesday morning, those responsible for making that determination-state police major crimes investigators, forensic I.D. experts and Herkimer County Prosecutors-met for the first time since the shooting. Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter says the sit-down has brought all parties closer to making a determination. Closer, but not yet there.

"Well, science is very good but it's not necessarily very quick. Analyzing evidence sometimes takes quite some time. DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis, things like that, that takes time. So even though we have the technology at our disposal to gather that information, it's the interpretation of that evidence that really can take some time," says Carpenter.

Carpenter says neither he nor state police have received an official, written report of the findings of the medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Koestner. He has no idea when they will receive it, or whether the manner of death will be suicide, homicide, accidental or undetermined. But he says the medical examiner's findings and report provide only one facet of the investigation into why Catherine Koestner died. And that today's meeting brought all parties closer to making a determination that will bring long-awaited answers to those who loved her.

"I think we are, certainly. I think it was very helpful for all the players, if you will, to be in the room and to bounce the ideas off of each other and discuss the evidence for really the first time as a group and like I said some questions have been raised as a result of our meeting and they're being followed up on now."

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