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McGill University regrets to announce the recent death of Kathleen 'Katie' Currier, a 18-year-old first-year student from Essex Junction, Vermont, whose body was found in her residence room early Saturday morning.
The exact cause of death is not known at this time. The final results of an autopsy, which will be available in a week or two, are expected to provide insight into how this tragedy occurred. Police have ruled out foul play or violence, and the preliminary results of an autopsy have also ruled out meningitis, which had been raised as a possibility at one point early in the investigation.
Currier was discovered by McGill residence personnel. Currier's parents had contacted the university on Friday evening when she did not return home as scheduled for the Labour Day weekend. Staff checked Currier's residence room during the evening and discovered the body after entering the room early Saturday morning at the request of the family.
Montreal police and emergency medical services were contacted immediately.
Currier was an honours graduate from her high school and an active athlete, participating in field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse. She was enrolled in the Faculty of Science, and was trying out for McGill's varsity lacrosse team.
The players and coaching staff are extremely saddened by her passing. "Katie" was extremely outgoing and had already made an impression on her fellow players and coaches. According to head coach Heather Roffey, Kathleen was the first person on the field during training camp where she demonstrated the skills to develop into a team leader.
Principal Heather Munroe-Blum met with the parents and other family members Wednesday, and offered heartfelt condolences on behalf of the university. The Dean of Students, Bruce Shore, and McGill security officers have also been in regular contact with the family to provide support and information during this difficult period.
A student-organized candlelight vigil was held on Saturday night at residence.
"Of course this is hard on the students, but it's been wonderful to see them pull together to support each other, and the memory of Katie," said Janice Johnson, assistant director of residences
Mental health professionals were on site to provide support for students. In addition, the residence director has been available around the clock and more student floor fellows to support students in the residence where Currier lived.
Through Student Services, the University also offers general counseling for any student affected by this tragedy. There will be a funeral service for Currier on Saturday, September 11, in Essex Junction at the First Congregational Church at noon. Those wishing to send condolences to the family can get in touch with them through the Dean of Students Office at 398-8238.
The University flag will fly at half-mast on Wednesday, September 8, in memory of Currier. An obituary for Currier can be found online at www.mcgill.ca/newswire/?ItemID=12547.