Virginia Tech senior from Fairfax slain; another student charged with her murder

Samanata Shresta

Samanata Shresta

A Virginia Tech senior from Fairfax County was found slain in Blacksburg, and another student has been charged in her death, authorities said.

Samanata Shresta was killed over the weekend after she disappeared Saturday, police said.

Twenty-two-year-old senior Jessica Michelle Ewing, who lived off-campus in Blacksburg, was charged with murder, according to Blacksburg Police.

A recent Virginia Tech graduate, 23-year-old Keifer Brown of Blacksburg, was charged with accessory after the fact.

Jessica Ewing

Jessica Ewing

Blacksburg Police have released few details about Shresta’s death, including how she was killed, where she was found, or whether Shresta knew Ewing or Brown.

Blacksburg police Lt. Nathan O’Dell told the Roanoke Times on Tuesday that the investigation began as a check on the welfare of an adult, evolved into a missing persons case and “quickly became a homicide investigation.”

Shresta’s missing vehicle, a black 2004 Mercedes C320, was found through a citizen’s tip, authorities said.

Shresta was a senior biological sciences major with minors in medicine and society and psychology, according to a university statement. She was inducted into Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges 2013.

She was a member of Epsilon Sigma Alpha, a co-ed service based campus fraternity.

“That an inspiring young woman would lose her life to violent crime hurts beyond belief,” University President Charles W. Steger said in a release.

Blacksburg Police are continuing to investigate.  They are asking anyone with information to contact Blacksburg Police.  Information can be left by calling the TIP line at 540-961-1819 or by sending an email to

The family has invited the university community to a visitation at McCoy Funeral Home in Blacksburg. It will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 12 from noon to 2 p.m.

Two Virginia Tech student organizations, Epsilon Sigma Alpha and the Nepalese Student Association, will host a candlelight vigil on Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. on the lower terrace of War Memorial Chapel, weather permitting.



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