By Kim Glovas, Matt Rivers, Tim Jimenez, Diana Rocco
VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) — Friends and students gathered at the Saint Thomas of Villanova Church to pray for a Villanova University student and her family.
Kinara Patel, a sophomore at Villanova, was found dead in her residence hall Thursday morning. Police say she died during the overnight hours.
The 18-year-old North Jersey native was a business student and had her whole life ahead of her, says associate Vice President Liz Kennedy Walsh.
“And while any death is heartbreaking, to lose someone this young is devastating,” said Walsh.
Hundreds filled the chapel to remember Patel. Senior Alexandra Wallace didn’t know her, but she came to pay her respects.
“Very tragic and very sudden and especially since it was on campus, it hits a lot closer to home. We’re all just in shock, and of course, are thinking and praying for her friends and family,” she said.
Patel was found in her dorm room in Sullivan Hall Thursday morning. Father John Stack, vice president of Student Life, says there was no sign of foul play and the university is cooperating with police in the investigation.
Police say Patel was out the night before in Bryn Mawr with friends.
“At this time we can report that there were no signs of foul play and the investigation is ongoing,” said Lt. Andy Block of Radnor Police.
Fr. John Stack released on statement on Patel’s death that reads:
“We are deeply saddened to share with you that an undergraduate student was found deceased this morning in a residence hall. While there are no obvious signs of foul play, we are fully cooperating with local authorities as they further investigate this tragic incident. At this time, we are unable to release the name of the student until we are certain that all family members have been notified. We will share additional information as we are able. All of us here at Villanova are saddened to learn of this tragedy and extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to family and friends of this student.”
Police say an autopsy will be conducted Friday.
The university says counselors will also be available for anyone who needs to talk about the situation.