Student from N.J. found dead in Bucks college dorm

Posted: October 09, 2012

A fourth-year student from Belmar, N.J., was found dead Monday in her dormitory room at Delaware Valley College, authorities said.

Gabrielle Hillman, 21, was found by her roommate in the South Hall dorm on the 571-acre campus near Doylestown, Doylestown Borough police Lt. Patrick Penecale said.

"There was no evidence of foul play or violence," Penecale said. "It did not appear to be a suicide, and it is unknown whether it was health-related."

The investigation will proceed based on the county coroner's finding of the cause of death, Penecale said.

The 1,700 students "shouldn't be nervous," said Laurie Ward, chief marketing officer for the college. "This was an isolated incident."

Counseling will be provided for students, Ward said. About 1,000 students live on the central Bucks County campus.

Hillman was majoring in small-animal science, one of the most popular of the 27 majors offered at the private college, founded in 1896. It also offers degrees in equine science, conservation and wildlife management, business, criminal justice, counseling psychology, and media and communications, plus master's degree programs.

New Britain Borough police will head the investigation, assisted by Doylestown Township police and county detectives. South Hall is in New Britain.

Contact Bill Reed at 215-801-2964,, or @breedbucks on Twitter. Read his blog, "BucksInq," at

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