6 ways for students to stay protected from predators

By Holley Nees - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - An autopsy is underway to confirm that the body found in a Yale laboratory building is that of a missing 24-year-old graduate student, Annie Le.

Police said the body was hidden inside the wall of a university building where Le was last seen on Tuesday. The 24-year-old was set to get married Sunday. Police said nobody is in custody, but that they do not think the killing is a random act.

The irony in this case is that Le wrote an article earlier this year about safety on college campuses.

Between remembering homework, and all that information for tests, safety may be one of the last things students think about while going to class.

"A healthy fear is a good thing," said Lufkin DPS Spokesperson Greg Sanches. "It's a survival technique. The problem with a lot of people is, they drop their guard."

However, one Stephen F. Austin State University student comes to campus prepared.

"I carry my good pepper spray," said SFA student Heather Labosky.

A fellow student said as an SFA ambassador, she knows it's better to be safe than sorry.

"There are a lot of call boxes around here, on campus," explained SFA Sophomore Teressa Foster. "So, if I ever feel insecure about walking to my dorm...I can call the call box and it will call UPD."

SFA University Police said Foster has the right idea.

"We always encourage, especially females to always travel in groups and if they are going somewhere on the weekend to let someone know," said SFA Chief of Police Marc Cossich.

Sanches said when you're walking to your car, get your keys out and ready. You can put them in between your fingers and use them to defend yourself against predators.

"It's not that you're trying to win a fight," said Sanches. "It's that...if they're attacking you, you're trying to fight back to where you can retreat and go get help."

Above all, police said be aware of your surroundings.

"Let people know where you're going and about when you're going to be back," said Cossich.

"I try to keep a healthy fear," said Foster. "I wouldn't want to get too intimidated by what's going on around me because anything can happen at any time."

Police said it's also a good idea to have emergency numbers on speed dial in your cell phone, so your student only has to dial one number if they are in danger.

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