CENTRAL, S.C. – Authorities are interviewing several "persons of interest" in connection with the strangulation death of a Clemson University junior, FOX News has learned.
Tiffany Marie Souers, 20, was killed about 1:30 a.m. Friday, Clemson police Capt. Robert Griffin said. Her body was found by her former roommate about 12 hours later in The Reserve at Clemson apartment complex, about five to 10 minutes from campus. Her apartment showed no signs of struggle or forced entry.
Pickens County Coroner Dr. James Mahanes on Tuesday told FOX News that Souers was found partially clothed in her bedroom and was strangled with a bikini top.
"The autopsy, other than the evidence of the strangulation, just showed the body of a normal 20-year old," Mahanes said.
Rape kit and toxicology results would be available within 10 to 14 days, Mahanes said.
As the Central Police Department continued to retrace the civil engineering student's final hours and interview people who might have seen Souers Thursday, the mood on campus remained somber, said Samantha Epps, a reporter at the Anderson Independent-Mail.
"People are saddened and devastated by this — theyre also afraid," Epps told FOX News. "Its kind of an eerie situation because these kinds of things dont happen here often."
Souers' friend, Alanna Dybus, said that the blonde coed was not dating anyone recently.
"I know that she had been I believe last year, but not at this time," Dybus said, noting Souers isn't the type to meet dates online.
"I really dont think that she would have gotten herself into something like that," Dybus said Tuesday.
"No one that knew her would have done this," her mother, Bren Souers, told FOX News. "She was a stellar child, an incredible woman, and no one would have done it."
Souers' funeral was to be held on Wednesday.
The student from Ladue, Mo., was taking summer school classes so she could graduate early and planned to start an internship in Denver in July.
"I'd see her at the library all the time," said Steve Nickerson, a fellow Clemson student. "She was a really sweet girl, always willing to help everyone out and it's a real shame that this happened."
Nickerson told FOX News that residents of The Reserve routinely left their doors unlocked so friends could visit. "I'm really surprised that there would be any problem there," he said Tuesday.
The oldest of three children, Tiffany Souers graduated from Villa Duchesne High in Frontenac, Mo., in 2004.
Her mother said Tiffany knew Clemson was the school for her on her first visit.
After getting an undergraduate degree, Tiffany Souers had planned to pursue a graduate degree in civil engineering.
Her mother said she found time to help others, as well. The younger Souers was helping an Easley charity develop its bylaws.
She also had passed on a trip to Hilton Head Island on spring break to go home to visit her brother who had been in a car wreck. "She was so supportive and strong," Bren Souers said. "She was a rock for all of us."
Friends at the same apartment complex in the town of Central say they are shaken by the young woman's death.
Griffin couldn't say if Souers was targeted or if she was selected at random. However, people should go about their daily lives as they normally would, he said.
Erik Howard, a Clemson senior who lived above Souers, said he was going to stay with a friend in Jacksonville, Fla.
"The more people they go through and the more people they clear, the more random it gets," he said.
FOX News' Sara Bonisteel and Jonathan Serrie and The Associated Press contributed to this report.