Oct. 3, 2006 — The University of Virginia received official notice from the Richmond Division of the FBI today of the death of Elizabeth M. Hafter, a graduate student in the Curry School of Education and a 2006 graduate of the University.
In an e-mail communication to the University’s undergraduate and graduate students, Patricia M. Lampkin, vice president and chief student affairs officer, expressed the University’s “deepest sympathy” to Hafter’s family and friends and wrote that “this tragic, senseless loss reminds us once again how vulnerable our community can be to random violence.”
Hafter, who majored in drama and history as an undergraduate and had begun working toward a master’s of teaching degree in the Curry School, had been reported missing over the weekend. According to the FBI, her body was found Sunday on a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Augusta County.
The FBI ruled Hafter’s death a homicide. The man suspected of the crime, William T. Ashby of Savannah, Ga., left the area in Hafter’s car and died late Monday night in a shootout with sheriff's deputies following a high-speed chase in St. John’s County, Fla. His death was ruled a suicide.
In her message to U.Va. students, Lampkin indicated that counselors from the University's Counseling and Psychological Services will be available to any student seeking services and support, especially Hafter’s friends and associates.
Services for Hafter will be held on Friday, Oct. 6, in her home town of Columbia, S.C. Plans for a memorial service on Grounds are pending.