UPDATE: VCU student found dead

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Commonwealth University community is in mourning after a student was found dead late Sunday night.

The Richmond Police Department and VCU Police Department conducted a death investigation after a body was found last night in the 700 block of West Franklin Street.  Police officers responded at approximately 11:31 p.m. and discovered the body of Sara Prescott, 18, 710 W. Franklin St., lying on the ground near her residence.

The Medical Examiner's Office has ruled her death a suicide.  Prescott died of blunt force trauma as the result of a fall, according to police. Her body was found between Rhoads Hall and Pace Campus Ministry.

Just hours later, students are talking about just what happened and what led to the deadly evening.

"There were cops everywhere," said Reggie Swepson, a student who lives in Rhoads Hall. "They didn't want anybody on the patio." That patio, just steps away from where an e-mail sent out by VCU said a students body was found.

That email says the death is what appears to be a suicide. But police have yet to confirm that information.

"It's just sad. It's really sad when stuff like this happens. I just feel for her family," says Swepson.

For hours, both VCU and Richmond Police checked the area on the ground and a nearby building where the body was found.

Police are investigating this as a death investigation and they do not suspect foul play.

On Monday, students heading to class were walking by to see if any sign remained from the night.

"I was pretty shocked. Everyone's Facebook status' are about it because they heard all of the commotion," says VCU Freshman Lalia Asghar.

VCU counselors are meeting with the students' friends and any other students who need help, following this death.

"Everyone is still freaked out and surprised. It really hasn't set in yet," adds Reggie.

Another sad day for a campus community, just a few weeks away from the end of the semester.

VCU says counselors are meeting with the student's friends and all students are encouraged to call university counseling services.

On the Monroe Park campus, call them at 828-6200 and on the MCV campus the number is 828-3964.

The name of the victim has yet to be identified, and police tell us they are not investigating this as a homicide investigation.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.