Posted: Apr 8, 2013 6:22 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News
Updated: Apr 9, 2013 8:41 AM
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the death of an 18-year old sociology major from Cal Poly over the weekend.
Giselle Ayala's body was found on Saturday morning. She was in the water near Campus Point in Goleta.
Ayala was in Isla Vista with friends for Deltopia, a Spring Break party that is known to involve drinking. Ayala was last seen by her friends around 11pm on Friday night. The Sheriff's Office is not saying if foul play was involved.
"Actually, she was so nice, I almost thought, ‘oh my gosh, this is too good to be true,' like there's nobody that is that nice," said first-year student Deborah Newberry.
Newberry said she had heard of nightmare pairings for roommates, but after being randomly selected to live with Ayala, she said the first quarter of college fell perfectly into place.
She said, "I couldn't have possibly imagined a better roommate, and I'm really glad that she was able to live with me."
Newberry said Ayala had a special gift, and that was, to sing. She said Ayala was always too shy to sing around others, but she was fortunate to hear her voice once in a while in their dorm room.
Other friends, like first-year student Alexis Hahn, said Ayala could light up a room.
"Just such a really sweet person. Always was really genuine and sincere," said Hahn.
About a month ago, Ayala chose to make a photo of her and Hahn the profile picture on her Facebook account. It's a memory that Hahn said, she'll never forget.
She said, "that picture was from a night we had really bonded, like had a heart to heart, and she was, we were just laughing and having a really good time together."
When news started trickling down on Sunday that Ayala had died, for many, it just didn't seem real.
"I was actually doing my homework downtown, and I checked my email, and I got the email, and I almost didn't believe what I just read, because out of all those emails and out of all those people who are there, it's someone I know, and someone I actually really care deeply about," said first-year student Alyssa Wigant about how she felt when she first got the school-wide note from Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong.
Now, left with no choice but to move on, Newberry and friends continue to grieve, for a friend they called "Princess Giselle".
Cal Poly officials said there are 24-hour counseling services for grieving students.
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