Tufts University Investigating Death Of Woman Student

Tufts University officials said yesterday they are investigating the death of a woman student whose body was discovered in her dormitory bed by a maid last Tuesday morning.

Dr. George Huri, medical examiner for the city of Cambridge, said yesterday he has not yet determined the cause of death of Laura Lee Taylor, a 22-year-old from Summit, N.J. He added that the results of routine chemical autopsy tests should be available in a week to ten days.

"I would not want to hazard a guess as to the cause of death at this point; there is just no way of knowing for sure," Huri said, adding that when he was examining the body, he smelled no alcohol and found no outer lacerations.

Huri estimated that Taylor had been dead about 24 hours before she was found. Last week, Tufts officials speculated that Taylor may have been dead for two days or more by Tuesday morning.

Tufts University police refused to comment yesterday. Last week, however, Sgt. Paul Riley told the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger that Taylor had last been seen alive early Saturday morning as she returned from a party.

"At that time she seemed neither depressed nor as if she had been drinking." Riley told the Star-Ledger.

Theresa Pease, a university spokesman, said yesterday that Tufts officially listed Taylor as a senior "although she had taken some time off and probably would not have graduated this year." Pease added that Taylor had majored in international affairs and was involved in several political actions groups on campus.

A memorial service is tentatively planned for Tuesday afternoon at Guttern Chapel on the Tufts campus.