A student found slain on a college campus in suburban New York was strangled by her mother, who then tried to
kill herself, police said Wednesday.
Stacey Pagli, 37, was arrested at White Plains Hospital on Wednesday morning and charged with murder in the death of her 18-year-old daughter, Marissa Pagli, a freshman at Manhattanville College in Purchase, said Harrison police Capt. Anthony Marraccini.
He said the mother left a note at the scene, but he declined to describe the contents. He also said that Pagli has spoken to investigators, but he would not say whether she confessed.
She was brought to the police station and was expected to be arraigned in town court later Wednesday. Marraccini said he did not know if she had obtained a lawyer.
Marissa Pagli's body was found by her father, a maintenance supervisor at the college, in the family's apartment in staff housing. Stacey Pagli was found unconscious at the scene and was hospitalized; police would not comment on her injuries.
Marissa Pagli had grown up on campus and enrolled last year at the school, about 27 miles northeast of Manhattan.
"We did recover a good amount of physical evidence," Marraccini said, but he declined to describe it. Police were
awaiting further tests from the medical examiner and the county laboratory, he said.
The strangulation occurred in the victim's bedroom, and investigators believe Marissa was awake at the time of the attack, said Marraccini. There were signs of a struggle but he would not elaborate.
The strangulation was by hand, but "there could have been another device in addition to that," said Marraccini. There was nothing to indicate what might have prompted the attack.
Neighbors who were home at the time did not report any commotion, he said.
The killing was "emotionally devastating" for the father, John Pagli, the captain said.
Marraccini said police have never been called to the residence before.
The college is a liberal arts school of about 3,000 students. Full-time, full-price undergraduate students pay about $45,000 a year for tuition and room and board.
Several women from the Kennedy family attended Manhattanville, including Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, the mother of President John F. Kennedy, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, his sister and founder of the Special Olympics. The college was a women's school until 1969 and Catholic until 1971.
A tribute page to Marissa Pagli was posted on Facebook.