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Augusta University student found dead at University of Georgia, officials say. Police suspect foul play

By Jamiel Lynch, CNN

(CNN) — School and state authorities suspect foul play and are investigating after a woman’s body was found with “visible injuries” on the University of Georgia’s campus Thursday, university officials said.

The woman was an Augusta University College of Nursing student at its campus in Athens, the city that also is home to the University of Georgia, officials at the Augusta university said.

Authorities received a call shortly after 12 p.m. on Thursday from a person who was concerned after their friend went jogging at the university’s intramural fields and never returned, University of Georgia Police Chief Jeffrey L. Clark said in an evening news conference.

Officers found a body at roughly 12:38 p.m. at an area behind a nearby lake, Clark said.

“The individual was unconscious and not breathing and had visible injuries,” the chief said. EMS responders determined the person was dead, he said.

The University of Georgia identified the victim as a woman, but did not share further details.

Augusta University identified the woman as one of its College of Nursing students.

“It is with deepest sorrow that I share with you the news that one of our students at our College of Nursing campus at Athens has passed away,” Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel said in a letter to his school’s community.

“Police have said they suspect foul play. The receipt of this news this afternoon was shocking to all of us,” Keel said.

The Augusta University College of Nursing campus in Athens is roughly 2.5 miles from the University of Georgia’s intramural fields. Athens is approximately 60 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Police say they don’t have a suspect

University of Georgia police are investigating alongside local police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Clark added.

In a statement, the university said foul play is suspected. The school urged students, faculty and staff travel in groups on campus and be aware of their surroundings.

Police do not have a suspect in the case, Clark said. When he was asked whether there was danger to the public, the chief said: “When you have a suspect that’s on the loose, there’s always a danger. But there’s no immediate danger at this time.”

“We’re not going to leave any rock unturned on this investigation,” the chief said. “We’ll follow all leads.”

University officials have been briefed on the “terrible situation,” which came just hours after the “sudden death” of a University of Georgia student the previous night, the school said in its release.

“The past 24 hours have been a traumatic time for our university,” the school said. “And as we continue to mourn that tragic loss of life, today’s devastating news will uniquely test the resolve of our campus community, particularly our students.”

There is no connection between the two deaths, the university police chief said Thursday.

All classes on the University of Georgia’s Athens campus were canceled Thursday evening and Friday, the school said. Classes will resume Monday, it said.

Augusta University also canceled classes Friday at the College of Nursing campus in Athens.

CNN has sought comment from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Athens-Clark County police.

Correction: A previous headline incorrectly characterized the victim’s school affiliation.

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CNN’s Cara Lynn Clarkson and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.

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