Towson student's death caused by head and neck injuries

She fell into a glass door, police say; her death is ruled accidental

September 11, 2014|By Carrie Wells | The Baltimore Sun

Police and the state medical examiner have determined that a Towson University student who died over the weekend fell into a glass door and suffered head and neck injuries that killed her.

Julia Margaret Ratnaraj, 18, of Sewell, N.J., had been drinking before the incident, people who were with her at the time told police. Her death was an accident, police said Thursday.

Shortly before midnight Saturday, police responded to a call for an overdose at an apartment in the 300 block of E. Joppa Road. They found Ratnaraj unresponsive, and she was later pronounced dead.

Baltimore County police and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said she fell backward into a sliding glass door, injuring her head and neck.

Cpl. John Wachter, a police spokesman, said he could not elaborate on the injuries until the medical examiner's report is completed. He said her fall did not break the glass.

Wachter said there were about half a dozen people in the apartment when police arrived.

Police said this week that they had interviewed three women who were at the apartment. According to the police report, they were told Ratnaraj had not consumed illegal drugs but had been drinking alcohol; witnesses did not know how much alcohol Ratnaraj had consumed.

Ratnaraj, who graduated in June from Washington Township High School in New Jersey, was remembered this week by her high school counselor as a talented artist. The counselor, Sheryl Wescott, said that Ratnaraj had made a difficult decision to attend a different college than her twin sister.

She said Ratnaraj was an honor roll student who was interested in forensic science and had been a member of the French club.

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