Temple student dead, employee injured in alleged domestic violence incident

Katherine Kelemen, a College of Liberal Arts student, and Sheri Kelemen, a medical school employee, were the victims of the alleged Monday morning attack.

Katherine Kelemen, a student in the College of Liberal Arts, and her mother Sheri Kelemen, a research associate at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, were allegedly attacked by Katherine's father Monday morning. | NOEL CHACKO / TEMPLE NEWS

Content warning: This article discusses descriptions of violence that may be disturbing for some readers.

Katherine Kelemen, a 22-year-old Temple University student in the College of Liberal Arts, died Monday morning after her father allegedly beat her to death with a baseball bat, NBC10 reported. Her mother, Sheri Kelemen, a research associate at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, was also injured. 

“This is a senseless tragedy that affects our entire Temple community, and the devastating incident remains under police investigation,” wrote Stephanie Ives, associate vice president and dean of students, and Sharon Boyle, associate vice president of human resources, in an email to the Temple community. 

Sheri Kelemen called 911 early Monday morning after the alleged incident occurred, and police arrived at their Voorhees Township, New Jersey home around 7 a.m., NBC10 reported. Katherine Kelemen suffered from blunt force trauma and was transferred to Jefferson University Hospital in Stratford, New Jersey, where she died around 8:30 a.m.

Sheri Kelemen received head and hand injuries, and is currently hospitalized in critical, but stable, condition, according to the Office of the Camden County Prosecutor.

“The circumstances surrounding this situation are tragic,” Ives and Boyle wrote. “We extend our thoughts and deepest sympathies to those who are closest to Katherine and Sheri, especially their family, friends, faculty, colleagues and classmates. We rally around Sheri and hope she will pull through her serious injuries to make a full recovery.”

Police charged Gregory Kelemen, 57, Katherine Kelemen’s father, with murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a weapon on Monday, NBC10 reported. They found his body at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in a wooded area around a mile from his family’s home, and he appeared to have died by suicide, according to the Office of the Camden County Prosecutor. 

The United States experienced an increase in domestic violence incidents in areas where COVID-19 lockdown orders were implemented, according to a Feb. 23 report from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice.  

Other factors exacerbated by COVID-19, including stress and financial strain, can create unsafe circumstances for survivors, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-932-4632 or the New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800- 572-7233.

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