Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old Grambling State University student whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Cpl. Paul Mouton says the death is suspicious, but detectives have not ruled out foul play in the death of the Alexandria Shelton, a criminal justice major scheduled to graduate May 9.
Mouton says Shelton had planned to meet some friends, but she never showed.
He says her friends called her cellphone 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 two men and called police.
Mouton say police have interviewed the men and they were able to provide investigators with specific information regarding where they found the victim’s cellphone.
Criminal justice professor Reller Jones also had a close relationship with Shelton since arriving at Grambling in 2012. Shelton was one of the first students she taught at Grambling.
Both Jones and Thomason said Shelton had an impeccable academic career. She made all A’s and had a perfect attendance.
They met with several students Monday after learning about Shelton’s death.
“Everyone is just in shock and cannot believe this happened to such a beautiful person,” Thomason said.
Thomason awarded Shelton with his top student award in 2012.
“She was an excellent student and a role model for other students. I am proud of what she accomplished … I just wished she had more time on this earth,” Thomason said.
Shelton was always helpful to other students and rarely was without a smile, Jones said.
“She cared so much for people … I’m just heartbroken. Our students are just shocked and heartbroken. It’s something you have to digest. It’s almost unreal. You see her one day and the next she’s gone. We lost a good upcoming attorney,” Jones said.
Ninfa Saavedra was one of Shelton’s best friends at Grambling. She arrived on campus in 2012 and Shelton was one of the first people she met.