LAFAYETTE, LA (KSLA/AP) - An autopsy revealed that a 21-year-old woman who was found dead in a Lafayette park died due to an accidental drowning.
The investigation began after Lafayette Police officers located the body of Alexandria Shelton in Girard Park shortly after midnight on Sunday, April 13.
Cpl. Paul Mouton said friends of the victim told investigators they last spoke to Shelton around 8:30 p.m. Saturday and she was supposed to meet them but never arrived.
He says her friends called her cell phone after not hearing from her and a man answered, saying he found the phone in the park. The friends drove to the park, took the phone from two men and called police.
According to a statement released Monday morning by Grambling State University, Shelton was a senior criminal justice major with a 3.5 cumulative GPA and was a member of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College "who enjoyed life, shared close family and friendship ties and was scheduled to graduate at a May 9 commencement."
The statement notes that Shelton was on campus and in class on Friday, 2 days before her body was found. She was reported missing late Saturday.
"We've just been in shock since we first heard early Sunday that the body of a young woman found in a Lafayette city park was likely one of our own," said GSU President Frank G. Pogue. "We immediately reached out to the family and we've been cooperating with Lafayette police. We know how important the first 24 to 48 hours of a police investigation can be."
Pogue said GSU Provost Connie Walton is completing the necessary paperwork to seek approval of awarding Shelton's degree posthumously.
In addition, Stacey Duhon, vice president for student affairs and interim vice president for institutional advancement, is working with the Foster-Johnson Counseling Center to make sure grief counselors are available. Interested students can call the Foster-Johnson Counseling Center at 318-274-3277 to talk with someone.
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