College Student Found Dead Near Campus, 31-Year-Old Accused

College Student Found Dead Near Campus, 31-Year-Old Accused


Authorities found Elizabeth Howell, 21, fatally injured by the side of the road in Potsdam, New York on February 18, 2022. Police rushed Howell to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead due to blood loss from her gunshot wound. The young college student was studying music at the State University of New York at Potsdam.

On February 19, Potsdam police arrested Massena, New York resident Michael J. Snow on suspicions of murder. Prosecutors allege that Snow shot Howell on February 18 and left her on the side of the road near the university. Reports indicate that Snow is being held at St. Lawrence County Jail and has not been extended the possibility of bail. It is unclear whether Snow has retained the services of an attorney or entered a plea at this time.

Did They Know Each Other?

The University of New York’s leadership has confirmed that Snow had no relationship to the school or its official programs. The authorities have not commented on whether Snow knew Howell before her death. 

“Please hold Beth, along with her family and loved ones, in your thoughts and prayers this evening,” the University wrote in an official statement. “The entire SUNY Potsdam community mourns her loss, and we stand together in unity to remember her.”

Elizabeth Howell played cello in the school’s Crane Symphony Orchestra and planned to graduate this year. It is unclear how she came into contact with Snow or what conditions led to her death.

What Happened?

The authorities have not released much information regarding the case or why they suspect Snow murdered Howell. Police records indicate that Snow’s gray Honda Civic passed through numerous New York counties on Saturday, which suggests he may have been fleeing State Troopers.

The Potsdam police have asked the public for help with the case. Anyone with information relating to Howell or Snow’s whereabouts on February 17 or 18 should contact the New York State Police Troop B Communications via phone at 518-873-2750.

College Student Safety

The authorities encourage students to review safety tips before leaving campus. Never meet with anyone you only know from the internet, and make sure you always bring friends with you when you visit the areas surrounding campus. There’s safety in numbers, as most criminals will hesitate to attack someone if they’re outnumbered. 

Never hesitate to call 911 if you feel threatened or see someone in danger. University police and local authorities alike exist to help people.