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EMU Student’s Death Ruled Homicide, Cause Unknown

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Julia Niswender (Credit: Facebook Photo/Julia Niswender)

Julia Niswender (Credit: Facebook Photo/Julia Niswender)

YPSILANTI (WWJ/AP) - An autopsy has determined that someone killed a 23-year-old Eastern Michigan University student, but the cause of her death remains unknown.

Ypsilanti police said Tuesday that the medical examiner’s office has ruled the death of Julia Niswender a homicide.

Police say toxicology results “have yielded no conclusive information” on how she died. Police say there were no outward signs of trauma to the body.

Niswender was a Monroe native and was an undergraduate at EMU. Her body was found in her bedroom Dec. 11 at the Peninsular Place Apartments on Huron River Drive, located across the street from the campus police station in Ypsilanti.

Police were called to Niswender’s apartment after a roommate said she hadn’t been seen in several days, university President Susan Martin said in a statement to students and faculty.

Police say they don’t yet have any suspects.

“To release more information could jeopardize the integrity of the case,” Lt. Deric Gress told AnnArbor.com. “We talked it over with detectives. We can’t do that right now, so we’re not going to do that right now. It could jeopardize how we go forward from here. We understand the public’s concerns, but we owe it to the family and to Julia to do it the right way.”

The final autopsy report comes just days after Niswender’s birthday. She would have turned 24 last Friday.

Anyone who might have information is asked to contact Ypsilanti police at 734-482-9878 or Crime Stopper at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

A website has been established to provide the latest updates on the investigation into Niswender’s death, as well as campus safety and security information. Counseling is available for students and others in the EMU family. Those interested may contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 734-487-1118.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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