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Student Found Dead on NYC Sidewalk

March 10, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ A graduate student from Kansas who was working with battered women was found dead on a Brooklyn sidewalk with a kitchen knife in her back.

Police believe robbery was the motive for the Monday night attack on Amy Watkins, 26, who was studying for her masters in social work while working with victims of domestic violence in the Bronx.

``Amy was very dedicated to social justice and believed in everyone,″ said Megan Nolan of the New Settlement Community Center. ``She always had a big smile on her face.″

Ms. Watkins was returning from the Bronx, where she had organized a meeting for parents about their children’s reading scores. She got off at a subway station in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, bought a few items at a grocery store and was walking home when stabbed once in the back.

A neighbor said he heard her scream.

``It was such a noise,″ said the man, who declined to give his name. ``I didn’t hear a call for help. She must’ve been surprised.″

The New York Post reported today that a witness chased the male attacker before he vanished with her wallet.

Ms. Watkins was born in Illinois and raised in Lawrence, Kan., where she graduated from the University of Kansas. She was a second-year graduate student at Hunter College’s School of Social Work.

``This terrible event occurred at the outset of what would have been a brilliant career of public service,″ college president David A. Caputo said.

Her father, Lawrence Watkins, a teacher at a private school in Manhattan, said he was ``heartbroken″ and ``devastated.″

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