College student found dead during wellness check, NC cops say. Probe into death begins

A 22-year-old college student was found dead during a wellness check requested by her family, North Carolina police say.

Fayetteville State University told McClatchy News the student was Mia Barfield, a senior at the university. Her obituary says she was from Greenville, North Carolina.

Police received a request for a wellness check by Barfield’s family on Aug. 26, the Fayetteville Police Department shared in a news release.

Officers found a woman’s body in the residence by the university at around 4:10 p.m., according to the release.

Fayetteville Police Department’s Homicide Unit and university police are jointly conducting a death investigation.

Joy Cook, the associate vice chancellor for strategic communications at the university, told McClatchy News the medical examiner has yet to determine the cause of death.

Homicide detectives are involved in the investigation, but Cook said it’s unknown if Barfield was killed.

“The campus is just devastated,” she said.

She said a vigil will be held Aug. 30 for Barfield.

The university shared a statement with McClatchy News that went out to members of the FSU community.

“The Fayetteville State University campus community has suffered a tragedy with the death of one of our students. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends. The news of a sudden death in a close-knit community is difficult for all of us and it is important to acknowledge grief and express feelings of sadness during this time.”

Friends and family of Barfield have expressed their grief online.

“We’re keeping your name alive around here,” a friend wrote in a Facebook post, reminiscing about rides to work together. “You ARE such an amazing person and so much fun to be around. Impossible to be in a bad mood around you.”

A woman who identified herself as Barfield’s aunt called her “such a beautiful model and loving person.”

Barfield’s former cheer coach also reflected on her death in a Facebook post.

“She was so full of life and had such a bright future ahead. I coached her personally and then assisted as she moved up to varsity,” Jessica Pollard Avery wrote. “We were and still remain a Jag Cheer Family. I watched her grow, mature, spread her wings, and take off to college. All I know to do is to cry and pray for her family and all those who knew her.”

FSU is a historically Black university 60 miles south of Raleigh.

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