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Corning woman strangled to death by killer, autopsy shows

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  • Staff Report 

Authorities have released new information as the murder investigation of a Corning woman continues.

Keli Collins, 26, was found unresponsive at her apartment at Stewart Park Apartments around 1 a.m. on August 6.

Police charged 29-year-old Brett Heffner with second-degree murder.

He’s accused of attacking Collins in her apartment, then stealing her car and fleeing the area. Heffner was taken into custody an hour later in Hornell.

The cause of death has been determined as strangulation, according to investigators. An autopsy was completed over the weekend, leading to that new finding.

““I would like to thank all the people that have come forward in this case and offered information. The alert friends and neighbors of Ms Collins, who weren’t afraid to become involved, are the ones that made a difference,” Corning Police Chief Jeff Spaulding said. “I believe that the collaborative investigative effort of the Corning Police, Hornell Police, Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police have given the District Attorney’s Office a very prosecutable case in which Mr Heffner will undoubtedly be convicted for the murder of Kelli Collins.”