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Mar 27, 2010

Couple's deaths ruled murder-suicide

Husband used handgun to kill wife, self: cops

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Investigators have ruled the deaths of Kimet Kojtari and his wife, Hiria, of the Town of Newburgh as a murder-suicide.Times Herald-Record/DOMINICK FIORILLE
Alyssa Sunkin

TOWN OF NEWBURGH — Kimet Kojtari shot his wife to death with one of his own handguns before taking his own life, police said.

Investigators ruled the deaths of Kimet and Hiria Kojtari as a murder-suicide following autopsies on Sunday.

Medical examiners concluded that Kimet shot Hiria, who had defensive wounds on one of her hands, twice in the head before shooting himself.

Kimet, 60, owned a pizzeria in Rockland County. Hiria, 51, taught French at Monroe-Woodbury High School.

Their bodies were found in their Town of Newburgh home at 1 Marino Drive at 3:33 a.m. Saturday by one of their four children, who was returning home on a college break.

Lt. Michael Clancy said Kimet was an avid hunter and had many long guns and handguns in the home, registered in his name. Police identified the murder weapon as one of those handguns.

Clancy said the couple had recent "serious disagreements over family matters" that reached a boiling point.

Police are continuing to investigate those issues, which were kept hidden from neighbors, who painted the couple as family-oriented people.

Raymond Hodges, president of the Monroe-Woodbury Teachers Association, said Hiria constantly extolled the success of her children. She had given him no indication that anything was wrong in her personal life.

Hodges said she was always upbeat, a demeanor she brought with her into the classroom.

"She always greeted you with a smile," he said. "She was a friendly and warm person."

Hodges said the district is taking steps to prepare for grieving students and faculty needing to talk to counselors in the days to come.

asunkin@th-record.com

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100322/NEWS/3220313/-1/NEWSLETTER100

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Posted: Saturday March 27, 2010, 6:22 pm
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