UGA campus death: Augusta University nursing student found dead near Lake Herrick, foul play suspected

The University of Georgia Police Department is investigating the death of a woman on campus after she failed to return from a run. Officials have identified her only as a nursing student at Augusta University.

UGA's police department says it received a call from a person who was concerned about their friend around 12:07 p.m. Feb. 22. The caller said their friend had gone for a run near the Intramural Fields earlier in the day and had not returned as expected.

Officers responded to the area and immediately began searching.

RELATED: Coroner identifies Augusta nursing student killed while out jogging on UGA campus

What happened at UGA?

At approximately 12:38 p.m., they found the individual in the forested area behind Lake Herrick. The individual was not conscious and not breathing and had visible injuries. Emergency medical responders pronounced the individual dead at the scene.

"The victim was not a student of the University of Georgia, but the victim was a student of another school," said UGA Police Chief Jeffrey L. Clark, during a press conference at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The chief declined to comment further on the victim’s identity. 

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University of Georgia Police is investigating the death of a student on campus (FOX 5 Atlanta).

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, university officials wrote in part:

"We have been fully briefed on this terrible situation. Foul play is suspected, and we are already receiving support from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Athens-Clarke County Police Department to investigate this crime. We want to assure you that the safety and welfare of our campus community is our top concern."

This is an active investigation in cooperating with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

Police say there have been no arrests and no suspects.

"Well, when you have a suspect on the loose, there’s always a danger," said UGA Police Chief Jeffrey L. Clark, during a press conference at 7 p.m. on Thursday. "But there is no immediate danger at this time."

The cause and manner of death is yet to be determined.

Chief Clark said his investgiators will be reviewing all security cameras on campus in hopes of finding any clues.

"We're not going to leave any rock upturned," the chief said, adding that is why he brought in addition resources.

Police are urging everyone to avoid the area.

Augusta University nursing student identified as woman found dead at UGA

While the name of the woman found along a trail on the University of Georgia campus has not been released, officials at Augusta University released a statement saying she was a student there. 

The statement, attributed to Dr. Brooks A. Keel, the president of the university, reads:

"It is with deepest sorrow that I share with you the news that one of our students at our College of Nursing campus at Athens has passed away. Police have said they suspect foul play. The receipt of this news this afternoon was shocking to all of us.

"Please be aware that there are care resources available now and on-going. Augusta University offers 24/7 emergency counseling assistance to all students and employees at 833-910-3364.

"For our College of Nursing students, faculty and staff in Athens, we will have counselors on site tomorrow beginning at 8 a.m. Support services will also be available for students, faculty and staff on the College of Nursing Augusta campus beginning at 8 a.m.

"Classes have been canceled tomorrow [Friday] at the College of Nursing campus at Athens; however, the campus will remain open as a gathering place for students, faculty and staff to receive care and counseling as needed. Classes on the main campus in Augusta will continue as normal."

Investigators did not say why she was on the UGA campus on Thursday.

What we know about Lake Herrick area where body was found

Lake Herrick is located very close to the Intramural Fields off College Station Road and East Campus Road. 


Map of Oconee Forest Park, which includes Lake Herrick (University of Georgia).

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Athens-Clarke County Police Department have been called in to help with the investigation. UGA is asking people to avoid the area while the scene is active. 

Recent tragedies at UGA

This death comes on the heels of a suicide of a student on campus on Wednesday night.

"The past 24 hours have been a traumatic time for our University. Our student body is grieving the sudden death of one our students in Brumby Hall last night. And as we continue to mourn that tragic loss of life, today’s devastating news will uniquely test the resolve of our campus community, particularly our students," the university wrote in a statement.

Officials confirmed the suicide and Thursday's death were not connected. 

All classes on the Athens campus were canceled as of 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Classes will resume on Monday.

Students are advised to reach out to the Student Care and Outreach and Counseling and Psychiatric Services for grief support and assistance.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the UGA Police Department at 706-542-2200.