Autopsy complete in Old Forge shooting, manner of death "pending further investigation"

By JOLEEN FERRIS

OLD FORGE, N.Y. (WKTV) - An autopsy on the 30-year-old Proctor High School math teacher who died from a single gunshot wound to the head over the weekend is complete.

It happened in an Old Forge hotel room around 1 a.m. On Saturday morning. Prosecutors say that, for now, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on teacher Catherine Koestner marked, "pending further investigation" for manner of death. Others manners of death would be suicide, homicide and accidental.

Acting Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter says the gun used to kill Koestner is in police hands. He says she was in Old Forge overnight with a person police and prosecutors are now referring to as a 'witness' to the shooting. They say this person called 9-1-1 to report the incident, but will not elaborate on the nature of the person's association with Koestner. Carpenter says it appears the gun was legally possessed, but won't say by whom.

Authorities have discussed preliminary findings of the autopsy with the medical examiner who conducted it, but have not yet received his official, written report. But Carpenter is confident the examination will give police and prosecutors the answers they seek regarding shooting death of Koestner.

"I think it will, yeah, it was a very thorough examination. It was a single gunshot wound to the head and the information that the investigators have turned up so far is consistent with our findings at the autopsy," says Carpenter.

Carpenter says the investigation could wrap up at the end of the day Tuesday, or could go on another two weeks. He says it is leaning one way, but won't elaborate on whether it's toward suicide or homicide.

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