Brittany Sue Zimmermann, Another black on white college murder?
MADISON, Wis. — Authorities are continuing to comb the area for clues on Thursday after a 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student was found dead in her apartment on West Doty Street.
VIDEO: Watch The Report | VIDEO: Neighbors React To DeathThe victim, identified as Brittany Sue Zimmermann, was a UW junior from Marshfield. She was majoring in medical microbiology and immunology. Her boyfriend found her body in their apartment at a two-flat house on Wednesday afternoon.Police haven’t ruled out the possibility that it was a random attack. The exact cause of death hasn’t been released, but investigators said that Zimmermann’s death appears suspicious, WISC-TV reported.Authorities said that the investigation is focused on the residence in the 500 block of West Doty and cordoned off part of the street early Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, investigators have delayed garbage pickup in the West Doty Street area and are searching nearby garbage bins. Police said that garbage pickup in the 500 blocks of Bassett and Main has been frozen for the time being by police as they attempt to search for evidence.
One refuse hauler has dumped his load of garbage at a Madison Streets garage facility and officers in hazmat suits are expecting to go through it shortly, searching for any potential evidence, WISC-TV reported.Police are also continuing to search the house where her body was found.Zimmermann’s family has been contacted and allowed police to release her name and picture in hopes that it will prompt people to come forward with more information about her death.Madison police said that they have concluded that her boyfriend isn’t a suspect in this case. They said he continues to be very helpful in providing information to the detective team.Meanwhile, authorities are urging university students and downtown residents to be vigilant about their safetyUW Dean of Students Lori Berquam urged those on campus to take advantage of the safety resources available, including the Safewalk and Saferide programs.”I think together we can support the Zimmermann family and Brittany’s friends as they go through and process this tragic situation. But we as a community can also come together to not allow something like this to happen again,” Berquam said.Dane County Coroner John Stanley conducted an autopsy of Zimmermann on Thursday afternoon and ruled that her death was a homicide. According to a news release, he attributed her death to “a complexity of traumatic injuries.” He declined to specify the type or number of injuries that Zimmermann sustained.Zimmermann’s death is the city’s second homicide this year. Joel Marino was fatally stabbed at his south side home during the day in January. No one has been arrested in that homicide.UW officials said that a memorial vigil for Zimmermann has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Sunday on Library Mall. UW-Madison Dean of Students Lori Berquam will lead the ceremony, along with student representatives from Associated Students of Madison, the Wisconsin Union Directorate and the Union Council, according to a UW news release.Authorities said that anyone with information about Zimmermann’s death should contact Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.Stay tuned to WISC-TV and Channel 3000 for continuing coverage.