U-Md. student found dead in dorm is identified; police find no sign of foul play

May 7, 2013

A 20-year-old student who was found dead in a University of Maryland dormitory has been identified as Sarah Hancock of Bel Air, Md., campus police said Tuesday.

Police said in a statement that Hancock’s death appeared to be accidental, with “no indication of foul play or a suicide attempt.” U-Md. Police Sgt. Aaron Davis said authorities would release no further information about the cause of death until an autopsy is done.

Hancock’s body was found about 1:15 p.m. Monday in Kent Hall, a four-story coed dormitory of suites and apartments for about 80 students in the South Hill community of the campus.

Jeanne Novotny, Hancock’s aunt, said an initial examination suggested that her niece was in “some kind of respiratory distress,” perhaps related to allergies, when she died.

Novotny said that Hancock had graduated from C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, studied at Harford Community College for two years and then transferred to U-Md.

Hancock, who was just finishing her junior year, planned to be a social worker. “She loved children and wanted to give back,” Novotny said.

Nick Anderson covers higher education for The Washington Post. He has been a writer and editor at The Post since 2005.
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