Charges filed in death of Chadds Ford woman

Updated at 1:15 p.m. and 4:10 p.m.

Aggravated assault charges have been filed in connection with the death of an 18-year-old woman from Chadds Ford.

At approximately 5 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8, members of the Millersville University and Millersville Borough police responded to a call at Bard Hall on the Millersville University Campus for a cardiac arrest, a statement from the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said.

Upon arrival, officers found an unresponsive, female student in her dorm room, who has been identified as Karlie Hall, 18, of Chadds Ford, a 2014 graduate of Unionville High School.  Millersville University and Millersville Borough Police, in conjunction with the Lancaster County Forensics Team and Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office began an investigation into her death, which was deemed suspicious.

Gregorio Orrostieta, 19, of Kennett Square, Hall’s boyfriend, has been charged with aggravated assault stemming from a physical altercation that occurred between the two in the early morning hours, police said. Orrostieta was not a Millersville student, police said.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said during a press conference, "He's responsible and we're going to hold him responsible."

According to the criminal complaint, when officers arrived, they found Orrostieta, who had blood smeared on his face, scratches on his chest, and a ripped shirt, kneeling over Hall attempting to administer CPR. He said he and Hall had a verbal altercation earlier at a party and that Hall had slapped him.

Orrostieta told police that he and Hall "made up and then returned to Hall's dorm room around 1:30 a.m." He said another fight occurred, and he admitted shoving Hall hard enough that she was knocked to the ground and hit her head on a chair. Orrostieta also said he give Hall a "back hand" to her face, at which point she became unresponsive, the complaint said.

Janet Kacskos, a university spokeswoman, said she expected more information to be released after an autopsy, which is scheduled for today, Monday, Feb. 9. Kacskos said the university's focus right now is helping students deal with their grief, including Hall's twin sister, who also attends Millersville.

There is no evidence that anyone else is involved, and law enforcement officers are confident that there is no danger to the campus community, the District Attorney’s Office said. Police are encouraging anyone who may have information related to this investigation to contact the Millersville University Police at 717-871-4357.

Orrostieta is being held at Lancaster County Prison after failing to post bail of $1.5 million bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 19, court records said.

According to online records, Orrostieta graduated in 2014 from Kennett High School, where he played soccer. In May, he was one of 11 students who received the Reach Out to the Community (ROC) Award for mentoring kindergarten students at Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center.

A statement from Millersville University President John Anderson posted on the campus web site expressed condolences.

“Our university community has suffered an unfathomable loss, the death of one of our students, Karlie Hall, of Chadds Ford, Pa. ,” the statement said.  “I ask that you join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to Karlie’s family and friends.  If you personally knew Karlie, please accept my heartfelt condolences at this most difficult time.”

The university encouraged students to seek the counseling services on the third floor of Lyle Hall (717-872-3122) or through the campus ministries (www.millersville.edu/campusministries/on-campus-ministries.php.)

Uni0nville High School Principal Paula Massanari said those at UHS who knew Hall were shocked. She said Hall and her twin sister graduated UHS together and both went to Millersville.

"You rarely saw them apart," Massanari said. "I was struck by their friendship. They were virtually inseparable. I wasn't surprised that they both went to Millersville."

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