Cayley Mandadi, a sophomore at Trinity University in San Antonio, was found dead on Tuesday, October 31, sending shockwaves through the University. The death of the 19-year-old cheerleader is being investigated as a possible homicide by Texas Rangers, however, they have not released any further details or cause of death.
According to reports, Mandadi, 19, had been a passenger in a car on its way back to San Antonio from Houston on Halloween when someone in the car noticed she wasn’t breathing. The driver then took Mandadi to a hospital in Luling before fleeing. Mandadi was transferred to another hospital in Kyle, Texas where she was pronounced dead later that day.
The day following Mandadi’s death, the university sent out a safety alert to the campus urging students to look out for a man named Mark Howerton. While Howertown wasn’t enrolled at Trinity University he was associated with Mandadi.
Mandadi was a passenger in a vehicle returning from Houston when someone in the vehicle noticed she was not breathing. They dropped her off at a hospital in Luling and left.
The Texas Department of Public Safety confirms they are investigating Cayley’s death, but couldn’t comment further. News 4 San Antonio has learned Cayley was admitted to the Seton Hospital in Luling and then transferred to Seton Medical Center in Kyle. A doctor pronounced her dead the afternoon of October 31st.
Trinity University says even though Cayley died off campus, they want to make sure students feel safe. “We’ve increased patrols. We’ve increased Trinity University Police presence, and we’re really trying to get the word out to students to be on the lookout,” said Jones-Schweitzer.
The Hayes County Justice of the Peace ordered an autopsy, but said results will take three months. A preliminary report may be available in the next few days, but the judge anticipated it would say the cause of death can’t be determined until there are toxicology results or further investigation.
Lt. Jason Reyes, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said authorities in Luling and Caldwell County have asked the Texas Rangers to investigate the death. While initial reports suggested it was being investigated as a homicide, Reyes said that had not been determined.
“This is an on-going investigation being conducted by the Texas Rangers at the request of Luling PD and Caldwell County DA’s office,” Lt. Reyes said.
Mandadi, who was part of the school’s cheerleading squad, was also a member of the Chi Beta Epsilon sorority.
Mandadi was honored with a moment of silence at the Trinity University Tigers football game on Saturday, November 4.