Eastern Mich. students react as murder investigation continues - New York News

EMU students react as investigation into coed's murder continues

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Julia Niswender (Facebook) Julia Niswender (Facebook)

By Amy Andrews
FOX 2 News


YPSILANTI, Mich. (WJBK) -- On a typical mid-December day on Eastern Michigan University's campus, students are studying for final exams before Christmas break. But not on Thursday.

"It's so nerve-racking. Yeah, very nerve-racking. Walking around. It's scary," said student Najiva Farher.

The murder of 23-year-old Julia Niswender, whose body was juldiscovered in her off-campus apartment Wednesday morning, has cast a pallor over the student body that no one can seem to shake. "I think it's terrible and I'm honestly surprised," said student Coleen Hill.

"Not really knowing what happened is kind of freaky," said student Ashley Chiado.

What makes matters worse is the circumstances surrounding Niswender's death remain a mystery. The medical examiner is not commenting on the cause of death, only saying it is still under investigation.

EMU officials say no information on a possible suspect has been determined."It's kind of scary because you never know if it's going to be someone here. Someone's that's just walking the streets. It could be anyone," said Chiado.

"No more night walks for me," said student Kevin Guilbault.

In 2006, EMU came under fire for allegedly covering up the rape and murder of student Laura Dickinson in her dorm room. Officials said she died of natural causes despite the fact that investigators had ruled the case a homicide.

In this case however, it seems EMU is doing everything it can to keep students informed with daily emails; a Web site on the investigation; and a student forum Wednesday afternoon. "I think the university has done a great job letting us know what's happened," said Hill.

"I would feel less safe if they just didn't tell anyone," said Chiado.

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