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Wednesday, October 01 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT

More Details Coming Out on FSU Stabbing Death

Law & Lawyers By Jennifer Jefferson: Panamanian police are investigating the death of Florida State University student George Turner Ashby, 20, of Orange Park, who was found dead Wednesday at an apartment near the FSU-Panama campus. The university is not releasing information on the cause of death, according to FSU spokesman Frank Murphy. "We don't know." The Associated Press reported that Ashby bled to death after being stabbed in the left leg with a knife at a birthday party Wednesday in the Republic of Panama. Jared Williams, a 23-year-old FSU senior from Oklahoma City, is being held by Panamanian authorities in connection with the death, according to Carlos Langoni, rector of FSU-Panama. The Embassy of the United States Panama declined to comment about the incident, stating that they did not have permission to do so from authorities involved. Ashby, a junior majoring in Spanish and Russian, and Williams, a senior majoring in actuarial science, were studying in the Republic of Panama as part of FSU's study-abroad program there. The Tallahassee Democrat called his home in Orange Park, but a woman declined to comment about the incident referring all calls to his parents, who were out of the country.

Relatives of Williams could not be reached for comment.

According to Murphy, the students, who had class together, were finishing up their summer programs with more than 50 other students.

The International Programs office will send counselors, interpreters and others to FSU-Panama to help students in the aftermath of the tragedy, Pitts said. Classes at the FSU-Panama campus were canceled but are expected to resume today.

Florida State is sending Sally Karioth, a professor of nursing and noted grief therapist, to the Panama Canal Zone campus to counsel students and faculty.

"The university recognizes that when something this traumatic happens it is important to have someone to whom the faculty and students can talk about their feelings," Karioth said. "This can be a profound event. And it helps to let people talk about what they saw, to process what they're feeling and recognize they're not alone in their responses."

"We are deeply saddened to hear about this tragedy, and our hearts go out to the families of the students involved," said Jim Pitts, director of international programs. "We are doing everything we can to assist the authorities in this matter as well as provide counseling and other services to the students at the FSU-Panama campus. The safety and well-being of our students studying abroad is our No. 1 priority."

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