PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police in Australia are investigating the death of Emily Spickler, a 19-year-old WVU student, but say there’s nothing to indicate foul play is involved.
Spickler, who would have turned 20 on Wednesday, was found dead in the shower of her dorm at the University of Southern Queensland, where she was studying abroad for a year. Friends became concerned when they couldn’t find her.
She was a journalism major at WVU and wanted to become a fashion writer. She was from Shepherdstown, W. Va.
Her family is reportedly headed to Australia.
Peter Munster from McGregor Residential College, where Stickler was staying, said, “There’s a whole range of emotions. Everyone is dealing with it differently, so we’re putting a broad range of mechanisms in place to help everyone across the board.”
“She had an extremely bright future ahead. She was a very intelligent girl and never had any problems,” said Katie Stevens from Aurora Models, where Spickler had been working in Australia. “She was just fantastic. Everyone loved her.”
Just a few weeks ago, Spickler tweeted that she was loving Australia, but that tweets about classes starting in Morgantown made her sad that she wasn’t coming back this fall.
WVU’s Associate Provost for International Affairs Dr. Michael Lastinger said, “The WVU community is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Emily’s passing. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Spickler family and Emily’s many friends and sorority sisters.”
The school says no one can remember a tragedy in the study abroad program like this before. Counselors are available for classmates.