Grief counselors helping Schenectady High School students process tragic death

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Grief counselors are in place at Schenectady High School as the community comes to grips with the death of Samantha Humphrey.

Autopsy results confirmed the body pulled out of the Mohawk River last Wednesday afternoon was the freshman, police said on Monday.

School Superintendent Anibal Soler referred to the death as “disturbing news that deeply affects all of us.” He said Samantha’s potential was “limitless, and she will be greatly missed.”

The school district has sent out a letter to parents encouraging them to talk with their child, reminding them that death impacts each of us in different ways.

As NewsChannel 13 has been reporting for more than three months, the Schenectady High School freshman met up with an ex-boyfriend the night after Thanksgiving at Riverside Park, got into a physical altercation with him, and was never seen alive again.

There were many subsequent search efforts with emergency workers.

After months of investigators searching, a fisherman spotted the body in the water last Wednesday. The body was in a shopping cart underneath the old railroad bridge at the Stockade, sources told NewsChannel 13. Police were contacted.

Reaction from Samantha’s Parents

Samantha’s mother, Jaclyn Humphrey, released a statement after the autopsy results were announced on Monday.

“I am obviously devastated. No amount of time could prepare for this day,” she said. “Coping with the events of today is very difficult.”

“She did not deserve what has happened to her,” Jaclyn Humphrey added, “and hope to get swift resolution to this horrific event. Our lives will never be the same.”

Samantha’s father, Jeff Humphrey, also issued a statement.

“We mourn the loss of our murdered daughter Samantha. Her murderers remain at large and remain a danger to the children of Schenectady,” he said. “We look forward to their swift and permanent prosecution. We have complete faith in the Schenectady Police Department and district attorney’s office to complete this task.”

Schenectady police say they are awaiting further autopsy results, at which time more information may be released.

The investigation, and the parallel search for accountability and justice, continues.