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Authorities investigating homicide at Littleton hotel

New Hampshire prosecutors have charged a Vermont man with fatally stabbing a 70-year-old woman at a Hampton Inn in Littleton in what appears to be a random attack.

Rodney Hill of West Danville, Vt., was being arraigned yesterday on second-degree murder charges in the death of Catherine “Kitty” Houghton of Novato, Calif., a career commercial counselor with the U.S. Foreign Service who served as a trustee at a private school near where she was killed.

Houghton was an alumnus and member of the board of trustees at the White Mountain School in Bethlehem, where she delivered the commencement address in 2011.

She also had a pilot’s license and volunteered her services for Angelflight – which provides transportation to indigents in medical need, according to a tribute on the school’s website.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said the Littleton police were called to the Hampton Inn just before 9 p.m. Monday. They found Houghton with multiple stab wounds to the neck and torso.

The police said they encountered Hill outside the hotel and took him into custody.

Houghton died later at Littleton Regional Hospital. An autopsy was scheduled for yesterday.

Prosecutors have made no mention of a motive in the killing. WMUR-TV reported that Morrell said Houghton and Hill did not know one another and the killing appears to be random. Hill is being held without bond.

Houghton obtained her master’s and doctorate degrees from Stanford University, according to the White Mountain School website, and spent most of her career as a commercial counselor for the business division of the U.S. Foreign Service.

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