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College freshman stabbed to death at Salisbury Mall


A 17-year-old woman who moved to Maryland two weeks ago to attend Salisbury State College was stabbed to death last night in a bathroom at the Salisbury Mall, Salisbury police said.

Heather Miller of Glenshaw, Pa., was attacked by an unknown assailant about 6:15 p.m. in a hall bathroom located off the mall's main concourse, police said. After the attack, she staggered out of the bathroom, screaming for help, and reached the mall's concourse before collapsing.

She was taken to Peninsula General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead last night.

Ms. Miller went to the mall with friends, but police said there were no witnesses to the murder. Last night, they had not recovered a murderweapon.

Police released a composite sketch of a man seen leaving the area where Ms. Miller was attacked. They described the man as about 25 to 30 years old, 5-feet-10 to 6 feet tall with a medium build of 160 to 165 pounds.

He wore a long-sleeve black shirt and black pants. His eyes were bloodshot, and he spoke with slurred speech, police said.

Salisbury State College spokesman Gaines B. Hawkins said Ms. Miller's death was the first slaying of a student in the 12 years he had worked for the college.

He said Ms. Miller lived in the Manokin Dormitory and had not yet declared a major. She began attending classes Wednesday.

Ms. Miller grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her parents, Richard and Karen, and two sisters. The family held a party for her graduation from Shaler High School in June.

"She was really smart," said Michael Geiger, 26, who lives next door to the Millers in Glenshaw. "This is unbelievable to me. She was always a quiet kid."

He described Ms. Miller as a pretty girl with long, light brown hair and glasses who used to have a paper route when she was younger.

Her parents were on their way to Salisbury last night and could not be reached for comment.

Last month, Ms. Miller attended a special orientation program called "Freshman in the Wilderness" to get ready for her first year at Salisbury State. She and other new students spent a week camping and canoeing in Ontario, Canada, Mr. Gaines said. They were accompanied by several counselors.

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