USM student found dead in pool
Published: Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 22:09
The body of a USM student was found in a rental community's swimming pool Tuesday morning.
Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict said autopsy results for 21-year-old public relations major Savannah Smith was consistent with freshwater drowning.
Benedict declared Smith dead shortly after 9 a.m. Tuedsay.
Management officials from The Cottages, a rental development on West Seventh Street, found the Hattiesburg native's body earlier that morning.
"There was absolutely no trauma to her body," Benedict said.
Southern Miss spokesman David Tisdale told the Hattiesburg American that Smith was a part-time student at the university who graduated from Presbyterian Christian School in 2007.
Hattiesburg Police are carrying out an investigation of the incident, said Synarus Green, spokesperson for the HPD.
Green said the investigation was still in its preliminary stages, but added that although he did not suspect foul play, it had not yet been ruled out.
Green also said the series of social gatherings at the pool before the death are not currently part of the investigation.
According to the Hattiesburg American, it is unclear whether Smith was affiliated with the gatherings or if alcohol was involved.
Benedict said Smith's toxicology report is not complete.
"We usually estimate getting results back in about one to two weeks," Benedict said.