American Student and Part-Time Model Found Dead in Australia

An American student and part-time model was found dead in her room at an Australian university, a police spokesman said.

Police said Emily Spickler, a 19-year-old from West Virginia studying journalism at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba, was discovered dead about 6:30 p.m. Monday. Friends called police.

Police said the cause of death was not yet known but was not considered suspicious at this stage.

The university's chief operating officer, Barnard Lillis, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the school's tight-knit community of 20 exchange students was shocked at the news of the death.

"At this stage we are all in a complete shock at the moment, particularly the students, and we are offering counseling," he said. Classes will remain in session.

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Spickler aspired to be a fashion journalist. She advertised online for modeling work while in Australia and was represented by NOVA Agency in Baltimore, Md., according to a profile on

She was only a few weeks into a year-long stint at the university, the Brisbane Times reported.

The Courier-Mail quoted the university's director of corporate communications, Aidan Burke, who said Spickler was apparently "quite vivacious and quite a happy, well-known and well-liked student."

He said Spickler's parents had been informed "through local police and are quite distraught," adding, "the university is offering assistance to bring them over or repatriate her body back to the States."

Spickler regularly updated her Twitter account, which said she had done an internship at Los Angeles magazine.

On Aug. 8 she wrote, "Missing missing missing Southern California" and the next day, "This place is so weird sometimes."

However, she wrote on July 31, "Falling head over heels in love with Brisbane."

NewsCore contributed to this report.