Authorities identify Alabama A&M student found in Hazel Green pond

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HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WHNT) – Madison County Sheriff’s deputies continue to investigate a case involving an Alabama A&M University student found dead in a pond on Walker Lane Wednesday.

Thursday, deputies identified the student as 27-year-old Lavanya Abburi, who enrolled in AAMU’s PhD program in plant and soil science in spring 2014.  She was a native of India.  Investigators met with her parents Thursday morning.

Lavanya Abburi
Lavanya Abburi (Photo: Alabama A&M University)

“The entire Alabama A&M University family is grieved by the untimely death of Lavanya, who was diligently pursuing her dream,” said AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr. “We offer counseling and other support to those who were touched by her presence and motivated by her determination. Moreover, we ask for prayers for her family.”

Preliminary autopsies performed by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences were inconclusive, and agents are still working the case as a death investigation to find out what exactly happened, with further forensic testing to come.

Not much is known about Abburi at this time, except that she is of Indian descent and that it was not uncommon for her to be at the Hazel Green property during her studies.  AAMU has the Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station Farm on the property.

Maintenance workers found her body around 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Alabama A&M officials, family and friends are putting together a tribute for Abburi.  Details will be announced soon.