Jacksonville teen found dead in UCF dorm

Alyssa Lewis 'was on top of the world,' her father says

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer, Erik Avanier - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville teen was found dead in her on-campus dorm Tuesday morning at the University of Central Florida, authorities said.

Paramedics found Alyssa Michelle Lewis dead in her room at the Lake Claire apartments after her family called 911 at 10:35 a.m. when they could not reach her, university police stated in a release.

Alyssa Lewis

Lewis, 19, was in her fourth semester at UCF. She graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville.

Her father, Bill Lewis, told News4Jax by phone that his daughter had recently been dealing with headaches and vomiting. He said his wife took a trip down to the UCF campus Tuesday morning to pick their daughter up and take her to a doctor.

"She's banging on the door and she's trying to call. Alyssa's not answering. My other daughter shows up with her and they have to go get someone to let them in the dorm room from housing," Bill Lewis said. "They go in and find Alyssa ... passed away."

A cause of death has not been released. But based on their initial findings, investigators do not believe the death was suspicious, saying there is "no threat to the campus community."

Bill Lewis said he wanted to speak to News4Jax to dispel any rumors regarding his daughter's death. 

"The reason I'm doing this is because there are so many crazy stories out there when a young person passes away. Is it drugs? Is it overdose? Is it suicide?" he said. "I mean, she was on top of the world. She finally got accepted as an RA."

Fall semester classes wrapped up Saturday. Police said Lewis' roommates had already checked out by Sunday when residence halls closed for most students.

"We offer our most sincere sympathies to Michelle's family and loved ones, and we will make all of our resources available to support them," said Adrienne Frame, UCF's dean of students.

The school is making counselors and victim advocates available for Lewis' loved ones, as well as other students. To learn more, dial 407-823-2811 or visit the counseling website.

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