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Student’s suicide is 3rd this academic year at ASU

Mary Catherine Johnson
Mary Catherine Johnson

An Appalachian State University student found dead in her dormitory room in January died by suicide, according to the state medical examiner.

Mary Catherine Johnson, 19, a freshman from Raleigh, was found dead in her locked room at Appalachian PanHellenic Hall on Jan. 19. Hers was the third suicide by self-asphyxiation of an Appalachian student this school year.

Investigators found two notes Johnston left behind and said she previously had been diagnosed with depression and was being treated with Zoloft, an anti-depressant, according to the report released Tuesday.

Johnson was born and grew up in Raleigh. She graduated from Broughton High School in 2013, attended Wofford College, and transferred to Appalachian State University. She was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority.

Johnson is one of nine ASU students who has died during this academic year at the Boone campus of 18,000.

One of the other deaths was from a narcotic overdose, three were the result of auto accidents and the cause of death is pending in one other case. Appalachian State said a ninth student who died off campus during this spring semester has not been identified at the request of next of kin.

Police said foul play is not suspected in any of the cases.

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