Grambling State senior found dead in Lafayette park ditch - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Grambling State senior found dead in Lafayette park ditch

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Alex Shelton Alex Shelton

GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News)— The Grambling State University community is in shock by the death of a senior criminal justice major, a 3.5 GPA student who enjoyed life, shared close family and friendship ties and was scheduled to graduate at a May 9 commencement.

The body of 21- year-old Alexandria Shelton was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.

Cpl. Paul Mouton said detectives have not ruled out foul play.

Mouton says the victim had planned to meet some friends, but she never showed.

He says her friends called her cell phone after not hearing from her and a man answered, saying he found the phone in the park. The friends drove to the park, took the phone from the men and called police.

The case remains under investigation.

"We've just been in shock since we first heard early Sunday that the body of a young woman found in a Lafayette city park was likely one of our own," said GSU President Frank G. Pogue. "We immediately reached out to the family and we've been cooperating with Lafayette police. We know how important the first 24 to 48 hours of a police investigation can be.

"Now we encourage our students, faculty, staff and others to contact Lafayette city police, or our own campus police, if they think they have even a small bit of information that might be helpful," added Pogue. "We need to assist police with this investigation and bring closure to this situation for the sake of Alex's family and close friends."

Shelton was on campus and in class Friday. Lafayette police received a missing person report late Saturday after some of Shelton's friends did not hear from her as they expected to see her at an 8:30 p.m. goodbye party for a mutual friend. A short while later, police found Shelton's body in a drainage ditch near a Girard Park pond, not far from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus. Lafayette confirmed Shelton's identity with her parents on Sunday as the investigation continued. Her parents told police she attends Grambling State University. Anyone with information that might be helpful with the investigation is asked to call Lafayette Police Department at 337-291-8200 or call GSU police at 318-274-2222.

Shelton had a 3.54 cumulative GPA and was a member of the Lester Cole Honors College at Grambling State University. Pogue said GSU Provost Connie Walton is completing the necessary paperwork to seek approval of awarding Shelton's degree posthumously. In addition, Stacey Duhon, vice president for student affairs and interim vice president for institutional advancement, is working with the Foster-Johnson Counseling Center to make sure grief counselors are available. Interested students can call the Foster-Johnson Counseling Center at 318-274-3277 to talk with someone.

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