Shannon Jones, Churchill High School Grad, Killed at Cornell University - NBC4 Washington

Shannon Jones, Churchill High School Grad, Killed at Cornell University



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    Teszia Belly Dance Troupe/ Cayuga Heights Police Department
    Shannon Jones, 23, (left) was allegedly strangled to death by her boyfriend, Benjamin Cayea, 32, (right) following a domestic incident.

    A Churchill High School graduate was killed in her New York State home on Thanksgiving.

    Twenty-three-year-old Shannon Jones, of Potomac, Maryland, was attending Cornell University.

    Her body was found Thanksgiving Day in an apartment just off the Cornell campus in Cayuga Heights.

    Authorities say Jones' boyfriend strangled her. Benjamin Cayea, 32, was arrested Thursday night. A Tompkins County sheriff's investigator says Cayea admitted to killing Jones after an argument earlier in the day.

    Jones had attended Churchill High School in Potomac and was scheduled to graduate from Cornell next year. Jones was a student in Cornell's College of Engineering.

    In a statement, President David J. Skorton offered his condolences: "On behalf of the entire Cornell community, I extend our heartfelt condolences to Shannon's mother and brother, her family and friends. I ask that you join me in taking time over the coming days to remember Shannon as we all try to make sense of this deep loss for our community."

    Cayea was arraigned early Friday on second-degree murder charges in the Village of Cayuga Heights Court. His court-appointed attorney entered a plea of not guilty.

    Cayea is being held without bail in Tompkins County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday night.