7 Jun 2009

NZ man charged with murder of wife in US

8:18 pm on 7 June 2009

A New Zealand man has been charged with the second degree murder of his wife in the United States.

Blazej Kot, 24, is accused of cutting the throat of Caroline Coffey and leaving her body in a park in Ithaca, New York State, on Tuesday evening (local time).

Police say Mr Kot was spotted by an officer leaving the scene by car, covered in blood.

They say he crashed his car five minutes later and when approached by police was holding a knife.

Police say he appeared to have sustained self inflicted injuries and was taken to hospital.

The body of Caroline Coffey was found by two hikers the next morning on 3 June, on a track 350 metres from the couple's apartment.

Mr Kot is now in custody at Bradford County Jail.

His former professor at Auckland University John Hosking says he is shocked at the news.

Mr Hosking says he remembers his student as a quiet, incredibly intelligent and ambitious young man.

Mr Kot had been studying toward a PhD at Cornell University. His wife, originally from Ireland, was a biomedical researcher there.