Millersville University students mourn today for the death of their fellow student, Karlie Hall. The 18-year-old from Chadds Ford, Pa. died on Sunday, Feb. 8 in her residence hall room in Bard Hall. Her death was ruled a homicide on Monday morning due to multiple traumatic injuries and strangulation. Millersville University police responded to a non-criminal call at 5 a.m. The caller, later identified as Gregorio Orrostieta, reported the emergency was due to cardiac arrest. When emergency personnel arrived to on the scene, Orrostieta was present and performing CPR. According to Craig Stedman, District Attorney of Lancaster County, Hall is believed to have died between 2 and 2:30 a.m.
Orrostieta, 19, was first arrested on one count of aggravated assault with bail set at $1.5 million, then he was later charged with one count of criminal homicide. Orrostieta is now being held in prison with no bail. According to the affidavit, Orrostieta admitted he was Hall’s boyfriend and that they had been together that night, and also admitted to a physical altercation taking place. Stedman said Orrostieta is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
According to Stedman, the affidavit states that a security camera in the residence hall was reviewed and showed that Hall and Orrostieta were the only two people in the room at 2 a.m. According to Stedman, witnesses heard a struggle and the resident assistant responded to a noise complaint. The RA personally did not hear the struggle.
Millersville University Police Chief Pete Anders said that there was not a threat to the safety of the campus. University police worked with Millersville borough police who assisted from the start. Anders met with Hall’s mother on Sunday.
Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Michelle Perez spoke of the steps being taken to honor Hall’s memory. “Bard is more like a big family house than a residence hall,” Perez said. University President John Anderson has reached out to Hall’s family. A candlelight vigil was held at 7 p.m. at the SMC Promenade. Also, the university is starting a fundraiser to assist the family with funeral arrangements.
While many wait for more answers, the university mourns. Freshman Savannah Stinnett recalls Hall’s presence in her life. Their friendship started in freshmen orientation. “Karlie was one of my first friends at Millersville and right away she was the sweetest most genuine person I could ever meet,” Stinnett said.
“She was honestly the most beautiful person inside and out and there will never be anyone else like Karlie Hall. All of our friends are coping together and we are all here for one another in this really sad time. Although Karlie may be gone her spirit and love for life will never be forgotten,” Stinnett said.
Counselors will be available at counseling services on the third floor of Lyle Hall throughout the week. Contact counseling services at 717-872-3122. Campus ministries will also be available for those seeking help at www.millersville.edu/campusministries/on-campus-ministries.php.
People are encouraged to come forward with any information they might have on the history of the couple’s relationship. Millersville University Police can be contacted at 717-871-4357.
There is not yet information about the funeral.
The media is asked not to contact the family or extended family of Hall at this time.