NORMAL, Ill. – A double tragedy occurred on Illinois State University's campus Friday, with a young man and a young woman being found dead in dorm rooms just hours apart, myFOXchicago.com reported.
The university tried to reassure students Friday night that there was no foul play involved and that the Normal, Ill., campus was safe.
The McLean County coroner said the female student's death may be related to an undiagnosed seizure disorder. The young man's death remains somewhat of a mystery, with the coroner only saying it was a non-natural death and toxicology tests have been ordered.
On the ISU campus there was no sense of alarm Friday. Students went about their business, playing football and Frisbee right outside the dorms where the two students died Thursday night.
The first student, identified as 19-year-old Allison Zak, was a sophomore from Schaumburg. She was found dead in her eighth floor dorm in Manchester Hall around 9:30pm Thursday night.
Zak's father, a doctor, said it appears to be a series of seizures that killed his daughter. Police came to Zak's parents' door around 1:45am Friday
A few hours later, in the adjoining Hewett Hall, Wilmette freshman John "Cody" Stephens, 19, was found dead in his 16th floor room.
To calm fears, university president Al Bowman sent out a campus-wide email and a social media blast early Friday morning detailing what was known about the student's deaths.
"It is with deep sadness that I must alert you to two tragic incidents that occurred on Illinois State's campus during the evening and overnight hours," Bowman wrote. "Two students were found deceased in their residence hall rooms.
"I want to assure you that the incidents are unrelated, and that there is no foul play or criminal activity of any kind involved in either incident."
The deaths in Illinois came as a student was found dead Friday in a residence hall at Syracuse University in New York. The circumstances surrounding the Syracuse student's death were not immediately clear.