UPDATE (Monday, July 17): The shocking death of a 19-year-old student athlete near Johns Hopkins University last Thursday was likely an accident, police said today.
Baltimore Police Department chief spokesman T.J. Smith revealed at a press conference Monday afternoon that Bastien fell “from quite a distance” from a high-rise building in the 3700 block of N. Charles Street. Her body was discovered outside Thursday morning not far from the Hopkins-Homewood campus. Smith said he wasn’t sure exactly how far she fell.
“Nothing in this case points towards homicide,” Smith said, “but our early indications based on all the evidence that we have, which includes video evidence and statements from people, is that this is an accidental death.”
More information will be needed to determine the exact cause of death, he said. Detectives will review a toxicology report to rule out any other factors, which could take six to eight weeks. “Every piece of evidence right now points to accidental,” Smith reiterated. He characterized her death as a “tragic situation.”
ORIGINAL (Friday, July 14): Communities in Baltimore and a northern Ohio town are mourning the loss of 19-year-old Abigail Bastien, whose body was discovered on N. Charles Street near Homewood Field on Thursday morning.
A spokesman for Baltimore police wrote in an email today that Bastien’s body was found around 8 a.m. in the 3700 block of N. Charles Street, just north of the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus. Detectives are investigating the cause of her death, and haven’t discovered any obvious signs of foul play. The AP reports her body was discovered outside.
Community members at both Hopkins and in Bastien’s hometown of Sandusky, Ohio, are hurting. Per The News-Letter student newspaper, university administrators say a memorial service is in the works. The school’s vice provost for student affairs, Kevin Shollenberger, and senior associate dean of student life, Toni Blackwell, wrote in an email to students, faculty and staff that Bastien was “a promising member of our community.”
She was a sprinter on the track and field team, as well as a sister in the university’s Alpha Phi sorority chapter.
“On behalf of the entire Johns Hopkins community, we offer our deepest sympathies to Abby’s family and friends,” they wrote.
One city resident who lives close to where Bastien’s body was found (and asked to remain anonymous) said security guards regularly patrol that block of N. Charles Street.
More than 400 miles away, Sandusky residents are grieving as well. “She was a person with a heart of gold and was all about everyone first and putting herself second,” police Sgt. Kevin Youskievicz, who was Bastien’s high school track coach, told the Sandusky Register. “She would do anything for anybody.”
The paper also reports that nearly 100 people gathered at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sandusky last night for a prayer service. Church priest Fr. Jeff Walker called Bastien “a beloved daughter of God.”
Her sister wrote on Twitter, “heaven gained the most beautiful soul today.”
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