Vigil celebrates life, questions death of Shelton


The Grambling State University community united on Thursday to remember Alexandria Shelton.

Shelton’s body was found Saturday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park not far from the campus of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a victim of drowning, officials say. 

Friends of Shelton are finding it difficult to believe the information disseminated by authorities because she would not go near water because of her inability to swim.

The Shelton family, who was in attendance, is still trying to cope with her absence.  

“We just want to get to the bottom of this [investigation],” said Justin Alex, Shelton’s brother, as he choked back tears. “My sister was a fighter, there was no way this could have been an accidental drowning.”

Numerous students around the Grambling campus spoke of Alex’s jovial demeanor and her bright smile. 

“We just want the truth,” said Johnathan Irvin, who talked to Shelton on campus two days before she went missing. “Foul play or not, we just want to know what happened to our friend.”

The faculty of Grambling State University is finding this death a tough pill to swallow.

“We were just so impressed with her intellect and her carriage,” said Grace Tatem who is membership/youth chair of the Grambling State University chapter of the NAACP.

On Monday, the official cause of death was determined to be an accidental drowning, said Sgt. Randal Leger, spokesman for the Lafayette Police Department. 

“Its hard accepting Alex is dead. I continuously think of what I was doing around the time she needed someone with her,” Irvin said.