Shock and sadness spread throughout a New Jersey community Tuesday following the harrowing death of a 22-year-old woman at her father's hands.
Including those left to grieve was Katherine Kelemen's mom, Sheri, who narrowly escaped Gregory Kelemen's wrath as he beat her and their daughter both with a baseball bat in their Voorhees home Monday morning, police records show.
The 57-year-old dad's body was found on Tuesday with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Camden County prosecutor said.
Still, as loved ones and strangers tried to make sense of the distressing series of events, they remembered Katie as a ray of light.
“I am truly in shock that you are no longer with us...I feel so lucky to have gotten to share my childhood with you,” posted family friend Danielle Smith on Facebook. “Rest In Peace and I’m praying for your mom’s recovery”
“So terrible! I can't imagine what Sheri is going through, I remember seeing her around the neighborhood. I pray for her,” says neighbor Valerie Esposito.
In a probable cause statement, Sheri Kelemen told officers she was awakened by her husband, who was beating her with a baseball bat saying “I can't take it anymore.” She told officers he kept the bat under their bed.
The outrage and anguish spread through to the community to those who didn't know the Kelemens.
"He murdered his daughter, only to end his own life. Katie, I didn’t know you, you were a neighbor around the block but you deserved better and I’m so sorry," says Victoria Bertini.
Katie Kelemen was a student at Temple University those who knew her said. Sheri was a researcher at Temple University School of Medicine and remains hospitalized in stable but critical condition.
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