Body Found in Crawl Space Identified as Missing West Virginia Student

Police say a body found in a crawl space at a Huntington apartment building is that of a missing Marshall University student.

Investigators found the body Friday evening in a common laundry room in the basement of the building where 21-year-old Leah Hickman had lived.

Huntington police announced Monday that the body had been positively identified as Hickman, a journalism student at Marshall.

They declined to release any details about how she died.

The last known contact with Hickman was a cell phone conversation with a friend late on the afternoon of Dec. 14. Police say Hickman's cell phone hasn't been used since.

The phone is missing, but Hickman's keys, purse, car and the bags she'd packed to go to visit her parents in the Point Pleasant area were found at her apartment.

Police are investigating her death as a homicide.

They said they have no suspects.

"If it was July it would still be a tragedy, but at this time of the year it's very hard," said Police Capt. Steve Hall. "Most of us are dads with kids and so certainly this has an affect on us."

In a statement issued Monday, Marshall University said, "This outcome was not the way we had hoped the search for Leah Hickman would culminate. The Marshall community and the citizens of Huntington are saddened by her loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and everyone who was touched by Leah

s life. She will be missed."