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Kaelin O'Neal

Lakeland University continues to mourn the loss of freshman student Kaelin O'Neal, whose body was recovered from an on-campus pond early Wednesday afternoon.

The Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department is proceeding with its investigation to continue to rule out foul play. Additional details about that investigation will come from the sheriff's department.

On Wednesday night, hours after O'Neal's body was found, students and other members of the Lakeland community gathered for a vigil. Several students memorialized O'Neal, and those in attendance sang "Amazing Grace" and "Eagle's Wings." Dozens of students, holding candles, then walked together to the pond to pay their respects.

Counselors and the campus chaplain are among the support services available to students and employees during this difficult time.

In an email sent to parents of Lakeland students, Bryan L. Bain, dean of students, wrote: "I want you to know that the safety of your children and the security of this campus is always a top priority. We have a strong team that includes campus security, student success, student-athletics, pastoral care and counseling care, and those people worked quickly yesterday to make sure our students were getting the support they needed.

"We had many people go above and beyond their roles to help, but that's part of what makes Lakeland a special community."

Lakeland President Dan Eck cautioned against giving credence to rumors.

"We are all struggling with why or how this happened," Eck wrote in an email to Lakeland students, faculty and staff. "If there is any additional information regarding this case, it will be released by the sheriff's department, and we will communicate that as needed. We do not have a time frame for this, especially with the coming holidays, so please be patient.

"We are thankful to be part of a caring community and we are ready to assist you as needed as we move forward."

A Go Fund Me campaign has been set up by Kaelin's family at https://www.gofundme.com/kaelin-oneal

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