A 24-year-old Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student was found dead Thursday night in her campus housing, along with her unharmed 5-year-old son.
Police found the body of Tifani M. Wilder, a junior psychology major, in her apartment at 425 Cougar Village when they responded to a welfare call at 9:02 p.m. Thursday from Wilder's boyfriend's mother after repeated attempts to contact her were unsuccessful.
An autopsy Friday morning did not provide a definitive cause of death, said Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn.
Wilder's son, Kaiden, told authorities that "mommy did not wake up," according to a statement released by Nonn.
Campus police said the death does not appear suspicious. SIUE Police Chief Gina Hays said there was no sign of forced entry or struggle inside the apartment.
Wilder was pronounced dead at 9:40 p.m.
Neighbors said Wilder was excited that she was accepted into the SIUE School of Education and they described her as friendly when they saw her in the hallway or at the bus stop.
"She was really nice," said Keasha Jones, a 20-year-old junior biology major. "She always had her son with her."
Senior sociology major Andreea Orange, 24, found it difficult to come to terms with her neighbor's death: "I don't know how to handle this; she lived next door."
It was not clear when Wilder died.
SIUE Director of University Marketing and Communications Doug McIlhagga said her boyfriend's mother had been trying to contact her throughout the day.
Kaiden had been in the apartment all day with Wilder, who was found in her bedroom, McIlhagga said.
Wilder's boyfriend, Shawn Davis, was out of town, Hays said.
University Housing staff were caring for Kaiden Friday until the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services or a relative could care for him.
Routine toxicological tests will be performed, Nonn said.
Funeral arrangements were pending.