KINDERHOOK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Rage and anger are what Halle Schmidt’s Aunt Erika Concra Porreca says she felt when she saw the man accused of dumping her niece’s body in the woods after she overdosed.
Rasheem Cotman, 32, had no response to NEWS10 ABC’s questions as he was escorted into Kinderhook Town Court.
Cotman pleaded not guilty to concealment of a human corpse.
The Columbia County Sheriffs office says Cotman admitted to his involvement in the case of 21-year-old Halle Schmidt. Law enforcement sources say that Cotman admitted that he dumped Schmidt’s body on Old Post Road in Kinderhook. Sources say Cotman told them he was afraid to call authorities after Schmidt overdosed on heroin because he was on parole and already had a parole violation.
Law enforcement sources said earlier in the night Cotman was at the Joslen Motor Lodge with another woman.
The owner of the motel said she did see Cotman on surveillance video and another woman, but did not see Schmidt.
Schmidt’s aunt says she believes there is much more to the story and wants justice.
Cotman has a lengthy criminal history involving multiple drug charges and has served time in prison on those prior convictions.
He was remanded to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office without bail.
One source tells NEWS10 ABC’s Lindsay Nielsen that Cotman is a drug dealer.
Schmidt’s mother and stepfather said they were trying to get Schmidt away from Cotman and believed the pair was in an abusive relationship.