Virginia Tech Student Accused of Murdering Schoolmate

Virginia Tech Student Accused of Murdering Schoolmate
Keifer Kyle Brown and Jessica Michelle Ewing
Montgomery County Regional Jail

updated 02/12/2014 at 04:40 PM EST

originally published 02/12/2014 04:40PM

A Virginia Tech student is facing murder charges in the death of a schoolmate as police attempt to piece together details of a grisly case that has left a school community in shock.

Blacksburg police confirmed that 21-year-old Virginia Tech senior Samanata Shrestha was killed over the weekend, The Roanoke Times reports.

On Monday, authorities arrested Jessica Michelle Ewing, 22, who has been charged with one count of second-degree murder.

Another student, Keifer Kyle Brown, 23, was also arrested and faces charges that he transported, secreted, concealed or altered a dead body, and that he was an accessory after the fact.

Details of the case remain unclear, but police reportedly found Shrestha's black 2004 Mercedes on Monday morning in Montgomery County. Additional information surrounding the vehicle's discovery was not disclosed, but the Collegiate Times reports that the victim's uncle said that Shrestha's body was found in the vehicle with "small marks on her throat."

Reportedly, authorities first began investigating the case as a welfare check before it was reclassified as a missing-person case, then a homicide investigation.

Police say they have not yet determined a motive for the killing.

An honor student, Shrestha was a biology major from Vienna, Va. According to reports, she is the second daughter that the family has lost, after her sister died in a motorcycle accident in 2008 at the age of 22.

The two people charged in Shrestha's death – Ewing, a senior, and Brown, who graduated in August – are reportedly being held without bond and are scheduled to have preliminary hearings on April 17.

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