“Something Sweet”: Dateline Reports on Ray Kotomski Murder December 9 2023

Scheduled to be featured in an episode of Dateline NBC titled “Something Sweet,” airing on December 9, 2023, at 9 PM ET/PT and 8 PM CT, the case of Ray Kotomski’s death presents a complex narrative of mystery, betrayal, and legal twists.

Background of the Case

In the small town setting of Ashtabula County, Ohio, Ray Kotomski, a 65-year-old retired corrections officer, met an untimely death on August 16, 2009, due to ethylene glycol poisoning—a toxic substance found in antifreeze. Despite emergency hospitalization, Kotomski’s life could not be saved. Initially, there were no immediate suspects, and the case remained shrouded in uncertainty.

Teresa Kotomski, Ray’s wife, came under scrutiny as investigators delved deeper. She was not considered a suspect initially, but her subsequent actions post-Ray’s death raised suspicion. Notably, she inherited a considerable sum of $200,000 from Raymond’s estate and soon relocated, beginning a new chapter of her life with a different partner.

The Investigation Takes a Turn

The case saw a significant development in 2012 when authorities decided to reopen the investigation. When approached for a re-interview, Teresa Kotomski, equipped with legal counsel, declined to cooperate with the police. By 2014, the gathering of sufficient evidence led to her arrest for the murder of her husband.

Motive and Medical Evidence

The prosecution’s narrative suggested a motive rooted in financial gain and avoidance of a lengthy divorce. They argued that Teresa poisoned Ray to secure his estate. Contrary to Teresa’s descriptions of Ray as an alcoholic suffering from severe diabetes, the postmortem toxicology exam and medical evidence from the hospital indicated otherwise.

In a significant moment during the trial, Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Yost highlighted Teresa’s premature discussion with a doctor about not wanting Ray to be on a ventilator for an extended time, prior to a formal diagnosis. He also pointed out the state’s challenge in proving direct evidence of Teresa administering the antifreeze.

Personal Life and Other Suspects

Ray Kotomski’s life before his marriage to Teresa was marked by a 36-year union with Marylou Kotomski, with whom he had three children. His marriage to Teresa lasted for five years until his death.

The investigation also revealed another potential suspect. Robert Reichard, a man who had previously shown hostility toward Ray and even attempted to harm him, emerged as a person of interest. However, no conclusive evidence linked him to the crime.

Financial Strains and Family’s Pursuit for Justice

The investigation faced several roadblocks, including financial constraints and limited resources within the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department. Despite these challenges, the relentless pursuit of justice by Ray’s family played a crucial role. They sought assistance from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose intervention was instrumental in reopening the case.

Despite Teresa Kotomski’s continuous assertions of innocence and suggestions of Ray’s accidental self-poisoning, the legal system found her culpable. The case of Ray Kotomski’s death remains a poignant reminder of the complexities and often hidden layers within seemingly straightforward incidents, leaving a lasting impact on the small community of Ashtabula County and beyond.

During the trial, Teresa steadfastly maintained her innocence, pleading not guilty. However, the court, unpersuaded by her defense, found her guilty of murder. In 2015, she received a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. Currently, she resides in a correctional facility in Montgomery County, Ohio, with parole eligibility set for 2030. Throughout her incarceration, Teresa Kotomski has consistently proclaimed her innocence, attributing Ray’s death to complications from diabetes.
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Ryan Gill

Ryan is a passionate follower of true crime television programs, reporting on and providing in-depth investigations on mysteries in the criminal world.

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