Parents Say Blinn Student's Death More than Suspicious

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

Its been a week and a half since a Bryan college student was found dead in her apartment. Now, the investigation could be shifting.

Last Wednesday, a friend found the body of 20-year-old Jenna Verhaalen inside her apartment at the Autumn Woods apartment complex.

Verhaalen's memorial service was earlier this week. A preliminary autopsy found that Verhaalen died from upper body trauma.

Jenna's parents say that preliminary autopsy showed their daughter's life was taken. However, Bryan Police are still labeling the case as a suspicious death.

"We are investigating it as seriously as a homicide. The only one that can officially classify this as a homicide is when we get a report from the medical examiner," said Sergeant Walt Melnyk of the Bryan Police Department.

The department says it could take up to six weeks to receive complete autopsy results. Until then, they say they're continuing their investigation.

"We are throwing all of our available resources and assets at solving this, at looking into it and investigating it. No stone is being unturned. We are looking into everything, every aspect of it," said Melnyk.

Verhaalen worked at the Wings 'N More on University Drive, since 2006. Her former co-workers, say they were shocked when they heard of her death.

"She didn't do anything wrong, outside of work and everybody knew that. When this happened it was a big shock just because of all the people you would think- it wasn't supposed to be her," said Steven Foster, the general manager at Wings 'N More.

Employees at the restaurant are wearing ribbons in memory of Verhaalen. They say they will miss their cheerful friend and co-worker.

"She was just so amazing with her attitude and everything and it is one of those things where its not just five or six employees that are broken up, it is everybody."

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