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Towson State student found dead after fall Officials say woman, 19, was depressed, homesick


Baltimore County police are investigating the death of a Towson State University sophomore who plummeted from the window of a Towson high-rise apartment complex yesterday morning.

Police described the death of Koaki Ashida, 19, as a possible suicide. A preliminary investigation found that Ms. Ashida had recently been depressed and homesick for her family in Tokyo, officials said.

Cpl. Kevin B. Novak said security guards at the Hampton Plaza Apartments in the 300 block of E. Joppa Road notified police at 8:15 a.m. that a woman's body had been found on the second-floor walkway of the building.

"She appears to have fallen about a dozen floors," said Corporal Novak. Her body showed no injuries other than those consistent with the fall, he said.

The woman was fully clothed except for shoes. Officials said the woman, who lived in a Towson State dormitory, had spent the night in one of the apartments with an acquaintance who was later questioned by police and released.

A search of the apartment found some damage to a bathroom door but no signs of a struggle, police said.

An autopsy is scheduled for today, police said.

Resident Dorothy Link said she heard a loud bang about 8 a.m. but "didn't think anything of it." Later, she looked out her 14th-floor window and saw the body lying on what appeared to be a window screen.

At Towson State, students at Ms. Ashida's dorm were upset, college officials said.

"We're saddened by the tragedy of a student's loss of life . . . as we try to work through this," said Charles Maloy, acting vice president of student life.

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