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Man held in woman’s stabbing death in N.H.

Victim at hotel for meeting knew 14 languages

A Vermont man fatally stabbed a 70-year-old prep school trustee at a Littleton, N.H., hotel Monday night, prosecutors said.

The man, Rodney Hill, 37, of West Danville, Vt., is charged with two counts of second-degree murder this morning for “knowingly and/or recklessly” killing Catherine Houghton by stabbing her in the neck and torso.

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Police responded to an emergency call at the Hampton Inn on Meadow Street in Littleton just before 9 p.m. Police took Hill into custody outside. Houghton was found inside, suffering from multiple stab wounds, New Hampshire Attorney General Michael A. Delaney and state and local police said in a statement.

Houghton succumbed to her injuries after being taken to Littleton Regional Hospital.

Hill was arraigned this afternoon on the murder charges in Littleton District Court. An autopsy will also be conducted later today.

Calls to the New Hampshire attorney general’s office were not returned.

Houghton was a graduate and trustee of The White Mountain School, a private college preparatory school in northwestern New Hampshire. The school’s community is “deeply saddened” by Houghton’s death, the school said in statement.

The school’s website said Houghton, who held a doctorate from Stanford University, had spent most of her career in the Foreign Service, serving all over the world. In retirement, she also was an avid hiker, skier, and musician and was an airplane pilot for Angelflight, which provides air transportation for financially distressed people in medical need, and for Lighthawk, which provides air transport for conservation organizations.

Lauren Dezenski can be reached at lauren.dezenski@globe.com
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