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Death of 22-year-old former Duke women’s lacrosse player doesn’t appear to be suspicious

Former Duke women’s lacrosse player Morgan Rodgers.
Former Duke women’s lacrosse player Morgan Rodgers.

While Durham police continue to investigate the death of a 22-year-old former Duke lacrosse players, a police spokeswoman said Tuesday that “it does not appear to be a suspicious death.”

Morgan Rodgers was found dead last Thursday at her Durham residence, leaving family and friends both here and in her hometown of Warrenton, Va., in mourning.

Responding to questions from The News & Observer, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael wrote in an email Tuesday that the Durham police is handling the case as a death investigation.

Through the school, Rodgers’ family has declined interview requests and asked for privacy. Duke coaches and players have not been made available for comment.

Rodgers played lacrosse for Duke in 2016 and 2017, appearing in one game, and continued to study psychology after leaving the team.

According to an obituary submitted to Moser Funeral Home in Warrenton, Rodgers’ death was “unexpected.” She had just returned to Durham after a family vacation at Pawley’s Island, S.C., “cheering on the American Women’s World Cup Soccer matches over the Fourth of July.”

“Always smiling and joking, Morgan cherished her visits to the beach - it was her happy place,” the obituary said.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Morgan Rodgers’ name to the Fauquier SPCA in Midland, Va.

Duke announced her death in an email distributed to the campus community last Friday. The athletic department also released a statement last Friday saying, “We join the Duke community in mourning the loss of former women’s lacrosse student-athlete Morgan Rodgers. At this time of sorrow, we ask that you hold the Rodgers family in your hearts.”

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.
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