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Friday, December 1, 2023


Dec. 11, 2003 – Police in Norfolk, Virginia, said on Wednesday that Kishma Burnes, 22, of St. Thomas was the victim of a homicide there but provided no further details concerning the fine arts student's death.
Burnes, a junior at Norfolk State University, was found dead in her apartment at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Police initially reported the cause of death as "undetermined" but changed it to homicide based on a preliminary examination by a medical examiner, according to Norfolk police spokesman Chris Amis.
Amis could not say how Burnes died or whether she lived alone in her apartment on the other side of the city from where she attended classes. He said police had no suspects in the case.
Norfolk State University spokeswoman Sharon R. Hoggard confirmed that Burnes was from St. Thomas and said two family members had arrived in Norfolk from the island.
Hoggard said the nearly 7,000 students at the university had been saddened by the death of the young woman, who had been a student at Norfolk since 2000.
A release sent out later from Hoggard's office stated: "President Marie V. McDemond and the entire NSU family would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Kishma Burnes … There are no words to adequately express our sympathy for the profound loss that Kishma's family must be feeling."
A private memorial service will be held in Norfolk on Friday. No information could be obtained Thursday concerning any plans for a St. Thomas service.

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