A college freshman lost her life when she fell from the top floor of an apartment building in Minneapolis during a Halloween party. The New York Post reports that Joia Simpson, 19, a student at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, fell over two side-by-side railings on the morning of November 1. She died at the scene.
According to the Star Tribune, police are still investigating the circumstances of Simpson’s death. The police report states that they have questioned “at least” seven other partygoers, who are between the ages of 18 and 20. This is the second death of a University of St. Thomas student in as many weeks, as another student was found dead in her dorm room two weeks ago.
The school’s chaplain, Rev. Larry Blake, said that Simpson’s friends and fellow students were emotionally ravaged by the news of her death.
“This is a difficult time for them,” Blake said. “They are devastated.”
But he praised the school community for being a supportive one.
“I am grateful we have such a supportive community here,” the reverend added. “Students caring about one another, faculty and staff who care for the students, but also one another as colleagues.”
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) November 2, 2018
Originally from California, Joia Simpson was interested in studying business, the university revealed via a statement on their website. They also revealed that her family wanted everyone to remember her for her “beautiful smile.”
According to CBS Minnesota, the authorities are currently waiting on the results from an autopsy on Simpson’s body. They are, however, treating the incident as an accident.
“I just can’t even imagine what her family’s going through and all her close friends and everything,” Lauren Julian, a UST freshman, told CBS. Julian lived in the same dorm room as Simpson but did not know her well.
Julian added that her death had inspired other students to be more careful about their surroundings.
“We were all talking about it, and just like talking about like what we need to do to about like being careful and like looking out for everyone around us,” Julian said.
Joia Simpson was just two months into her first year at college at the time. The Star Tribune reports that there are no plans for a vigil just yet, but that the university is providing support for anyone who needs help dealing with their grief.
“As a community, we’re always deeply saddened with an event like this,” said Rev. Blake to CBS. “We think about a life cut short and, you know, only beginning her college career here. It’s very, very tragic.”