Miami University Police investigating 18-year-old’s death

The Miami University Police Department is still investigating the death of Miami University first-year Erica Buschick, who was found dead the morning of Friday Jan. 20 in her dorm room in Morris Hall.

In a statement to the Miami community, released on Canvas, Dean of Students Mike Curme wrote that the 18-year-old Buschick was studying special education and was a member of Miami’s Best Buddies chapter.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Erica’s family and friends,” Curme wrote. “Erica’s passing represents a loss to our entire Miami University community.”

The Butler County Coroner’s Office has not yet released an official cause of death.

At approximately 8:55 a.m. on Jan. 20, Buschick’s roommate Reilley Graves called 911 to report that she woke up to find Buschick dead, according to an audio recording of the 911 call obtained by The Miami Student last week.

In the 911 call, Graves tells the police dispatcher that she and Buschick had been out drinking the night before and that the two got home at around 12:05 a.m. She said that a cab driver helped her carry Buschick into the dorm.

“She was so intoxicated … so I was just like, ‘OK, I’m just going to put her on the bean bag,’” Graves said.

In the recording, a distraught Graves can be heard repeating, “This is my fault,” throughout the nearly five-minute-long call.

Graves, contacted by email, declined to speak with The Miami Student.

Vice President of Student Affairs Jayne Brownell said that Graves and other residents of Morris Hall were offered counseling and support immediately.

“The first response is heartbreak,” Brownell said. “Students at this age are not supposed to die.

“We are all as shocked when something like this happens as the rest of the community is. From there though, we know that it’s not about us and we owe it to the friends and family to set our own stuff aside and do what we need to support the people that are close to that student.”

Brownell said that once a police report is released, the Miami community can expect a “period of action” to occur.

“We have not stopped moving on all of this since the moment we learned of it on Friday. And there is a lot more that will be coming,” Brownell said.

If any students need support, they can contact Student Counseling Services, 195 Health Services Center, 513-529-4634, or the Dean of Students office, 110 Warfield Hall, 513-529-1877.