There is an increased police presence in Ypsilanti after an EMU student was found dead in her apartment.
Police are investigating the death of a 23-year-old Eastern Michigan University student who was found dead in an off-campus apartment complex.
Ypsilanti police said Julia Catherine Niswender was found Tuesday night when officers responded to a call at Peninsular Place Apartments in the 1000 block of Huron River Drive.
Her cause of death is still under investigation but police are calling it an apparent homicide.
Niswender was a 2008 graduate of Monroe High School and was an undergraduate at Eastern Michigan. A twin sister, Jennifer, recently graduated from the Ypsilanti campus.
A friend, Andrew Hoppert, says Niswender was "very social" and had a large group of friends. He says she didn't live alone in Ypsilanti.
Police sent out a notification of the incident to students and staff via email and text.
EMU President Sue Martin also sent the following letter:
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
It is with great sadness that I write to you this afternoon about the tragic death of one of our students. As we reported earlier, the student has been identified as 23-year old Julia Catherine Niswender. She was a junior in Communication, Media and Theatre Arts. She was found last night in her off-campus apartment, located in the 1000 block of Huron River Drive. Ypsilanti Police are investigating her death as an apparent homicide. The cause of death has not been determined and Ypsilanti Police have no information at this time on a possible suspect.
Our understanding is that police were called to Julia's apartment after a suitemate reported not having seen her for several days. The Ypsilanti Police Department is continuing to investigate the case. The EMU Police Department is working closely with Ypsilanti Police and we will report additional information as we obtain it, and as events may warrant.
Ypsilanti Police asks that anyone who might have information concerning this to contact Det/Sgt T.C. Eberts @ 734-482-9878 or Crimestopper's @ 1-800- SPEAKUP (773-2587).
Counseling is available for students and others in the EMU family who may want those services. You can contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 734-487-1118. The offices are located at 313 Snow Health Center. Counselors recommend that those interested call ahead before stopping in.
A dedicated website has been established to provide the latest updates on the student death and campus safety and security information, as well as information about counseling. In addition, we will have a campus safety forum today at 4 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium, in which Chief Heighes and I will offer an update and safety recommendations.
Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with Julia's family and friends at this time.