New Developments in Gannon Student Death - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

New Developments in Gannon Student Death

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Erie Police released new information on the death of a Gannon student over the weekend, in what appears to be a case of hypothermia.

What started as a call for a cardiac arrest over the weekend has unfolded as a real tragedy for the Gannon University community.

Abbie Brynda, 21, a Gannon nursing student was at an off- campus apartment party in a West 12th street building with other Gannon students Friday night.

"Everybody's really hurt," said one Gannon student on campus. "I know some sorority sisters really touched by it. A lot of kids went to the service, it's just really hard to hear about the news."

But somehow she ended up outside the building alone in an alley, without her coat.

That's where police believe she stayed until friends and family found her in cardiac arrest at about four o'clock Saturday afternoon.

Although it was milder weather Friday into Saturday, with a lot rain, hypothermia was a real threat to someone outside for hours without a coat.

"It wasn't really the bone chilling type of cold we've been having recently, but it doesn't take much," said Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook. "You can get hypothermia in 60 degrees. If you're out below your body temperature, your 're at risk of hypothermia."

Police believe her last contact was at three o'clock in the morning with friends who were ready to leave when she apparently wasn't.

They've interviewed about 25 students at the party, and they have another 10 or so students to talk to.

What exactly are they trying to learn?

"How it is that she walked outside, with no coat. We confirmed that her coat and purse were still inside," said Erie Chief of Police Randy Bowers.

Dan Stutzman, the owner of the building where the party happened, has been talking with his tenants, the hosts of the party. He said it looks like to him, they were very responsible about everything.

He added they're all very shaken up about what happened, and that one of the tenants hasn't even stayed at the apartment since the incident.

"If she'd been on the other side, someone would have found her with in a few minutes I would guess if party goers were coming and going," said Stutzman. "But since this was out of the way, I could see how it'd be missed, especially when it was dark."

Police are looking into how much of a factor alcohol may have been. Cook tell us they'll know more when toxicology tests are complete in a couple of weeks.

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