Catherine MacDonald and Roberto Curtis
Managing Editor and Executive Editor
UPDATE: VCU Police have identified 18-year-old Sara Prescott as the student who died last night in the alley between Rhoads student housing and the Pace Campus Ministry. Police were called about 11:30 p.m. to find Sara’s body. The Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death a suicide. VCU public relations and VCU police were not available to comment.
VCU police and the Richmond Police Department are investigating the death of a student late Sunday night that appears to be a suicide, according to an e-mail sent by John Bennett, the senior vice president for finance and administration.
The student was found between Rhoads Hall and Pace Campus Ministry on the 700 block of West Franklin Street.
According to Richmond police spokesman Gene Lepley, the call about the death came in around 11:51 p.m. and the RPD is not currently releasing information about the student’s identity.
“We have a name. We’re working to identify whether in fact that is the (deceased) person. We’ve got to make sure it was (them) before we make that phone call,” Lepely said.
According to those on the scene, police transmissions originally indicated an individual with a gunshot wound to the head.
Bennett’s e-mail, sent around 1:45 a.m. Thursday morning, said counselors are meeting with the student’s friends.
“All students are encouraged to contact University Counseling Services with any concerns,” Bennett stated.
Counselors can be reached at 828-6200 on the Monroe Park Campus and 828-3964 on the MCV Campus.
The following e-mail was sent to the VCU community at 1:48 this morning offering more details about VCU’s death investigation:
To the VCU Community:
It is with deep regret that I inform you that VCU and Richmond Police are investigating the death of a student late Sunday night, as the result of what appears to be a suicide. The student was found between Rhoads Hall and Pace Campus Ministry. Counselors are meeting with the student’s friends, and all students are encouraged to contact University Counseling Services with any concerns. Counselors can be reached at 828-6200 on the Monroe Park Campus and 828-3964 on the MCV Campus.
Our thoughts are with the student’s family and friends at this sad time.
John M. Bennett
Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration
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I do not go to VCU, but I heard about this tragedy and wanted to let you know that Sarah, her loved ones, and her school community are all in our hearts at MHC. It is all too sad to hear of anyone feeling they had to do something like this. Love……
She doesn’t spell her name Sarah… she spells it SARA. Get it right.