Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Univ. of Virginia lacrosse player found dead

University of Virginia men's lacrosse player George Huguely (l.) has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of UVA women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love.
When police were called to a Charlottesville, Va., apartment at 2:15 a.m. Monday, they expected to find a possible alcohol overdose.Instead, they found an unresponsive 22-year-old University of Virginia women's lacrosse player whose body showed signs of physical trauma, and have now charged a member of the top-ranked men's team with first-degree murder in a case that may recall the Duke sexual abuse incident because of the seriousness of the charges and the perceived affluence of the people and the sport involved.

Police said Monday that fourth-year Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely has been charged in the death of Yeardley Love of Cockeysville, Md., who was also a fourth-year student at the school and a lacrosse player.Huguely, 22, of Chevy Chase, Md., is in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, according to a statement from police.

According to police chief Tim Longo, Love was found in bed by a roommate at the apartment she shared with two female friends about three blocks from the UVA campus. Once police found Love, "the obvious physical trauma to her" led them to start a murder investigation, Longo said. Later, Huguely was questioned at his apartment and arrested at about 6 a.m.In a statement, police said that Love and Huguely had a past relationship but have not released further details about the crime.According to Longo, Huguely is scheduled to appear via video conference Tuesday morning for a bond hearing in Charlottesville.
Georgetown senior Molly Ford, who played high school lacrosse with Love at Notre Dame Prep, was stunned by the news of her friend's death. "It was so shocking," Ford told the Daily News. "I felt like I had talked to her less than a week ago and the fact that I'm never going to get to see her again is really, really hard."

Both teams' regular seasons have concluded, with each expected to be seeded in their respective NCAA tournaments when the fields are announced Sunday. There is no indication that both teams will not play despite the tragedy, a school official said.

Although the death is being called a homicide, the exact details of the fatality won't be made public until an autopsy is complete, said Steve Murman, the regional administrator of the medical examiner's office in Richmond. According to Murman, Love's body was delivered to the central district office in Richmond on Monday afternoon. The autopsy will be performed at the medical examiner's office on Tuesday morning by one of the three forensic pathologists on staff. The results could be made public by 2 p.m. on Tuesday, he said. But if drugs and alcohol are in Love's system, the results could take longer to emerge.