A promising University of Oklahoma student who was preparing to go to medical school was found dead on campus after falling from a fire escape, according to her family.
An investigation has been launched after Casey Cooke was found unresponsive shortly before 3 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Authorities do not believe the death of the bright student was a suicide and have described it as a 'tragic accident'.
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Tragedy: An investigation has been launched after Casey Cooke was found unresponsive shortly before 3 a.m. on Sunday morning
Cooke's family told KFOR that she was climbing a fire escape to get to the roof when she slipped and fell to the ground.
The 22-year-old was found lying outisde, east of Evans Hall, which is the central administrative building on campus, by university staff who patrol the area, according to the station.
OU spokeswoman Catherine Bishop says emergency crews responded and administered CPR but that Cooke could not be resuscitated.
Cooke's body was sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy and to determine cause of death.
OU's student directory lists Cooke as a senior from Edmond in the College of Arts and Sciences.
She was a zoology major, and was pursuing a second degree in Spanish while preparing for medical school entrance exams.
Much-loved: Tributes have been pouring in for Cooke, who her family and friends described as 'beautiful, intelligent, likeable and funny'
‘The OU family is deeply saddened by this loss, and our heartfelt thoughts go to her family and friends,’ Bishop said in a statement.
The death of the much-loved woman, who was her class Valedictorian at Edmond North High School in 2008, has come as a shock to her family and friends.
Her parents, Richard and Roslyn Cooke, released the following statement after the devastating news. ‘Since [Casey Lauren Cooke’s] birth, we have celebrated the life of a young woman who was loved by so many. We will always remember her beautiful smile and innocent sincerity.
‘Casey was a very motivated child. Her academic excellence and pursuit of a medical school admission are a testament to her drive, intelligence and positive attitude about life.
‘Casey loved to hang out with her family and friends and was an accomplished gymnast. Her athletic ability landed her a spot as a cheerleader and head cheerleader at Edmond North High School, where she graduated as the Valedictorian of her class in 2008.
‘Her academic excellence continued at Oklahoma University, where she was a Zoology major and planned a second major in Spanish while preparing for the medical college admissions test.
Location: Casey Cooke was found lying near Evans Hall just before 3 a.m. on Sunday by OU staff who patrol the area, according to a statement
Devastating: The 22-year-old's family said she fell from a fire escape on campus, although it is not clear why she was climbing it
‘She was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.
‘Casey was beautiful, intelligent, likeable and funny. She had many friends. We will miss her tremendously.’
Tributes have been pouring in for Cooke as news of her death spread quickly. Her sister, Kelly Cooke, Tweeted: 'I love you so much Casey. You were the greatest sister anyone could have ever asked for.'
While her cousin, Andy Cooke, posted on Facebook: 'Rest in peace Casey. Words couldn't even begin to describe what you meant to all of us. We will miss that deeply, but be thankful that you are watching down on us now.
'I love you Casey, so much, and always will. I couldn't have asked for anyone better as my cousin, friend, and family.'
A funeral service for Cooke has been scheduled for June 7 at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City.
Tributes: Casey's sister, Kelly Cooke, Tweeted: 'I love you so much Casey. You were the greatest sister anyone could have ever asked for.'
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