Autopsy Complete on Villanova Student, Awaiting Results on Other Tests

Police are investigating whether alcohol may have played a factor in the death of an 18-year-old Villanova University student

The Delaware County Medical Examiner has completed an autopsy on an 18-year-old Villanova University student found dead in a dorm room.

Kinara Patel, a sophomore business student from North Jersey, was discovered around 10 a.m. Thursday morning inside Sullivan Hall on the university's main campus in Radnor Township, Pa., according to officials.

The medical examiner's office says the autopsy was completed Friday, but the results are pending as they await other testing like toxicology to come back from the lab. Authorities are investigating whether alcohol played a role in Patel's death.

Radnor Township Police Lt. Andy Block says investigators believe Patel died overnight after spending a night out with friends in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Her body was discovered by a friend.

"You're done with a class. You see people everyday. Then all of a sudden something like this happens," said Tim Leyden, a friend and classmate of Patel.

When asked if police believed the teen was drinking in a bar Wednesday night, Lt. Block said that was one possibility police were looking into.

There were no signs of foul play, indications of suicide or any underlying health problems that could have contributed to the teen's death, police said.

In an email message to the Villanova University community, Vice President for Student Life Fr. John Stack called Patel's death "tragic."

"All of us here at Villanova are saddened to learn of this tragedy and extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to family and friends of this student," Fr. Stack said in the short message.

Nearly 100 people gathered at St. Thomas of Villanova Church Thursday night to pray for Patel and her family.

Patel's death comes just three days after undergraduate classes for the Fall 2013 semester began.

Sullivan Hall is a residence building reserved for 400 sophomore students on the school's Quad section, according to the university's website. The dorm is co-ed and sexes are split by floors.

Founded in 1842, Villanova University is a Catholic university with an undergraduate and graduate enrollment of more than 10,000 students.

Its campus stretches into two townships -- Lower Merion and Radnor -- in both Montgomery and Delaware Counties, respectively.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

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