UR freshman Juliette Richard was found dead in her room in Hoeing Hall this past Saturday, March 29.
Amanda Van Auken, who originally found Richard around 10am Saturday morning when going to wake her friend up for breakfast, said she and her friends were not with Juliette the night of her death.
An active investigation is underway by the Rochester Police Department (RPD) to determine the cause of death. RPD determined foul play was not involved. The University cannot confirm allegations until the autopsy report is released as public record.
Students and other news sources speculate that drug abuse, specifically a heroin overdose, was the cause of the death.
Dean of Students Matthew Burns, who spent Monday with the Richard family on campus, noted Richard’s involvement at UR.
“It seems like everyone here on campus is just a couple of degrees from Juliette,” Burns said.
Richard was not an official member of any on-campus organizations. According to Burns, Richard’s friends said she spoke of going to Africa to volunteer.
Burns also noted that Richard’s parents met with her friends from campus. He said that it was valuable for them to see individuals who appreciated and loved their daughter.
“The family has made it quite clear to me that if there is a lesson to be learned from Juliette’s death, after all the facts are known, then they would very much like us to learn it,” Burns said with regards to the allegations of drug abuse associated with Richard’s death.
Burns and Feldman sent an email Monday to express remorse and provide information about the resources available to students affected by Richard’s death, such as the University Counseling Center and religious resources.
Richard was a microbiology major. Both Van Auken and Burns stressed that Richard was doing well in her courses.
“She really really wanted to help people in the world […] she was doing really well in school,” Van Auken said.
Burns expressed similar sentiments on behalf of the Richard family.
“The family wants the university to remember Juliette as just a really engaged […] member of the University who was driven.”
Richard came to UR from Bolton, Massachusettes where she lived with her parents and her younger brother.
Van Auken wanted to make sure Richard is not remembered by UR students negatively.
“Juliette was a full and fun and caring person […] She was a great, great friend, and a really loyal friend that was always there for me and always there for everybody,” Van Auken said. “She was doing really, really well in her life. She wasn’t a failure […]”
McAdams is a member of the class of 2017.