Family of drowned Eastern Michigan University student seeks answers 1 year later

23-year-old Julia Niswender found drowned in apartment bathtub in December 2012; death ruled homicide

By Will Jones - Reporter


Gathering on a bitterly cold night on the campus of Eastern Michigan University, family and friends of Julia Niswender hope to shine the spotlight on a murder investigation that has gone cold for police.

Her mother, Kim Turnquist, vows to fight as long as it takes to get answers.

"I will do this year after year and I will not stop until we find justice for Julia," said Turnquist.

The 23-year-old student was found dead in a bathtub at her off-campus apartment in December 2012. On Monday night, those who knew and loved her stood together with candles in front of that apartment.

Jennifer Niswender struggles to put into words the pain of losing not only her twin sister, but also her best friend.

"It's hard to even explain sometimes but it feels like a part of me went with her," she said.

A year later the fear remains around this campus after more violent crimes targeting students, such as the shooting death of Demarius Reed in October. Two men have been arrested and charged in his death.

Story: 2 men charged in Eastern Michigan football player's murder

Each day, Julia's father, Jim Turnquist, says the family waits, thinking this could be the day for a break in her case.

"I hate it. Every day your mind takes over and you start thinking of different things. Well, what if I was the detective, what would I do?" he said.

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