Friends remember Ball State University student found dead in off-campus apartment

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MUNCIE (March 3, 2014) — Police are investigating the death of a Ball State University student over the weekend. University officials confirmed Elija Swager, 18, of Angola, was found dead at an apartment off campus Saturday.

Authorities have not determined a cause of death.

“It’s hard losing someone who is everyone’s best friend,” said Amanda Lovell, who’s known Swager since middle school.

More than a dozen from their high school class in Angola moved to Ball State after graduation. Many are still in shock.

“He was just the coolest, most caring person I’ve ever met,” said Dakota Schmutzler, who also grew up with Elija. “We actually considered rooming together [at Ball State], but we decided we wanted to meet new people. Now, thinking back on that, I kind of regret it.”

Like most freshmen, Elija was still getting used to college life. He told friends he was going to work harder in school after a tough first semester.

They’re remembering him as the high school star athlete who played football, rugby and wrestled. He was also known for his big bear hugs.

“Everything he did through his life is more important than how it ended to me,” said Lovell. “If anyone deserves to be an angel, it’s Elija.”

Ball State released this statement:

The loss of someone so young from our community is deeply saddening. The sympathies of the Ball State community are with Elija’s family and friends.

In a situation such as this, the university works with the student’s family to ease the situation in the manner that is of most help to hem. Students who may be affected by Elija’s death are reminded that counseling services are available at the counseling center.

Elija will be laid to rest in his hometown Angola Thursday.
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