OU student's death determined to be due to blunt force trauma
Casey Cooke coverage
• Evans Hall fire escapes removed after evaluation deems them unnecessary
• OU to remove Evans Hall fire escapes, review other buildings for safety, officials say
• Friends, family remember Casey Cooke for her smile, goofy personality
• OU student death determined to be due to blunt force trauma, official says
• OU student found dead early Sunday morning near Evans Hall
The death of OU student has been determined to be an accident and due to blunt force trauma, according to the state medical examiner’s office.
Casey Cooke, 22, died of blunt force trauma to the head and chest, said Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer. A toxicology report of Cooke's body is still pending and may take between two and four months, Elliott said.
The senior’s body was found 2:23 a.m. Sunday outside the east side of Evans Hall, according to the OUPD report. Emergency crews responded and performed CPR on Cooke, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. OUPD has not released any further information.
Cooke's uncle, Don Cooke, said she had taken off her shoes and put them in her purse so she would have better traction climbing down the Evans Hall ladder. She apparently slipped on the way down, he said.
Just before the accident, Cooke was on Evans Hall talking on the phone with two of her friends, said Alex Pettigrew, her roommate and close friend. Cooke told her friends she had to go because she thought the police were coming. Pettigrew said she was not on the phone with Cooke at the time.
Cooke was an ambitious and hard-working person who also was very laid back, Pettigrew said. Cooke was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
“Everyone in our sorority liked her and she knew everyone, even people who were three years older and three years younger,” Pettigrew said. “She was very approachable and likeable.”
Lots of college seniors go on top of Evans Hall and other campus buildings, Pettigrew said.
“We’ve all taken classes in these buildings past four years and this just a completely different view,” Pettigrew said. “It is dangerous. I can see why she should have not been doing that — and no one else should have been doing that either — but I don’t think she or anyone else saw that as a risk because a lot of people were doing it."
The university, which released a statement Monday morning, did not have further comments, OU spokesman Michael Nash said.
Cooke, the 2008 valedictorian of Edmond North High School, recently earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and was finishing up another bachelor's in Spanish this fall.
In a statement released to the media, Cooke's family said the loss is beyond comprehension and they are only able to cope through the love and support of their family and friends.
"Casey was the shining family jewel, and we will miss her greatly," her family said.
Visitation is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Smith and Kernke Funeral Home, 14624 N May Ave., Oklahoma City. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 2717 W Hefner Road, Oklahoma City.