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Posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 9:40 a.m.

Family of student found dead in suspected homicide thanks EMU community

By John Counts


Julia Niswender

Photo from Facebook

The family of Julia Niswender, the 23-year-old Eastern Michigan University student found dead in her off-campus apartment in December, has released an open letter to the school's community, the Eastern Echo reports.

"We are grateful for all the support that the EMU community has shown our family," reads a sentence from the brief letter.

Police continue to investigate the death as a homicide. Ypsilanti police Lt. Deric Gress said Friday that the status of the investigation remains the same as last week. Interviews continue and police are still waiting for autopsy results, Gress said.

"The medical examiner's office is finalizing the report," he said. "They wanted to check on a few things."

Gress said more information is expected to be released to the public next week.

Police found Niswender dead at 9:30 p.m. Dec. 11 in her Peninsular Place apartment. Investigators were called to the residence after family and friends had not heard from her in a couple of days. Ypsilanti police immediately ruled the death a suspected homicide.

There’s been no indication from police on what was found in Niswender’s apartment that led them to rule her death a possible homicide and the results of an autopsy, performed days after she was found, were inconclusive.

The 23-year-old Monroe Township native had no signs of trauma on her body during the autopsy, police said.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


music to my ear

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

is it a homicide, because someone gave her something that caused her death if no trauma to the body then it sounds internal what ever the cause ,being a mom of a daughter, I really feel for her family, and it frightens me because my daughter lives alone. and although she is careful. it is just a different world today. rest in peace Julia.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

Glad that the family has some kind of gratitude in such a tough situation.