Cops Seek Tips in Ronkonkoma Teen’s ’74 Murder

New York State Police posted this billboard upstate three weeks ago in hopes of finding the killer of a Long Island college student in 1974.

New York State Police are hoping a billboard will generate leads in the unsolved murder of a teenage SUNY Cobleskill student from Ronkonkoma who was slain after leaving an upstate bar 38 years ago.

State Police in Schoharie County investigating the killing of 17-year-old Kathleen Kolodziej posted the billboard on Route 7 near exit 22 of busy I-88. Police are trying to find all patrons at Vault Bar and Grill on the night of Friday, Nov. 1, 1974.


Kolodziej was at the bar between 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. Her mother reported her missing the next day. Her partially clothed body was found Thanksgiving morning on a stone wall in the Town of Richmondville. She had been stabbed to death.

Police said Kolodziej told her roommate she was leaving the bar with someone else. She was last seen heading west on Main Street toward the college but never made it back to her dorm.

A witness told investigators they saw a woman getting in a yellow Volkswagen at about 1:45 a.m. the night of Kolodziej’s disappearance, but it has not been confirmed if it was the victim, police said.

A $2,500 reward is being offered for information about her murder. Police have received several calls from local residents who grew up in Schohaire County in the 1970s.

Kolodziej was an only child. Her parents have since passed away.

The Schoharie County District Attorney’s office, the Schoharie County Sheriffs Department, Cobleskill Police Department and the SUNY Cobleskill Police Department have been working the case jointly with state police for the past four decades.

Aside from finding Vault patrons, police ask anyone who has had a conversation with anyone who was at the Vault to call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-313-8477.

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