Local law enforcement officials announced this morning that the woman who was found dead in rural Ellis County on Tuesday was Angela May Goddard, a 21-year-old Fort Hays State University junior from Russell.
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely death of Angela Goddard," Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, said this morning. "We have contacted her family to offer our condolences and support. Also, our Kelly Center will take steps immediately to provide grief counseling for members of the university community."
The identity of the victim spread by word-of-mouth through the community on Wednesday afternoon, but the university withheld comment pending official confirmation from law enforcement officials, which came early this morning. The death has been ruled a homicide.
"The wrongful death of a young woman is a serious matter, and I commend County Attorney Tom Drees and the local law enforcement agencies for taking careful and deliberate steps to assess the circumstances of the death and make a solid identification," President Hammond said.
"Our university community is devastated by this senseless loss," the president said. "The FHSU Police have assisted in the investigation from the beginning, and the university will continue to cooperate in every way possible."
University officials began preparing for grief counseling on Wednesday when rumors circulated that an FHSU student was involved, and the president said help was being provided for everyone who needs it. He urged that anyone who is having difficulty coping with the loss should contact the university's Kelly Center at 628-4401.