A South Carolina woman who attended college in Louisiana died at a New Orleans hospital over the weekend after taking an Uber. Now, her family is asking for some answers.
Ciaya Jordan Whetstone21 years old, was picked up by a driver in the early hours of Saturday, February 19, 2022, according to authorities quoted by Charleston, ABC affiliate company based in SC WCIV.
Victim from Bamberg County, SC
A student at the University of New Orleans, Whetstone was in Metairie, La., a census-designated site in Jefferson Parish and parts of the New Orleans metropolitan area, to parade the Mad Hatters and Centurion into mentioned night.
Those celebrations are over for Whetstone and her friends, Juliet Orraround 8:30 p.m., according to Nola.com.
According to a journalist’s account Gabriella Killett, Whetstone met more friends for an overnight drink at a bar. In the end, Whetstone is said to have been taken to her boyfriend’s home in the suburbs of Harahan, La. .
“As a university, there is nothing more challenging than dealing with the sadness of a student’s death,” said Dr. John Nicklow, the President of the University of New Orleans said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with Ciaya’s family and friends. We are providing counseling services for students and staff who need assistance.”
That account continues:
Orr said that when Whetstone arrived at her apartment, the carpool driver appeared to have been waiting there while she checked on her dog. Her roommate, White ReeseWhite said she told her to stay, but Whetstone insisted the driver was her friend and left with him to “go find her car,” said White, who added that Whetstone appeared Drunk.
“I tried to convince her not to go,” she said.
Another friend told Big Easy-Focus that he called Whetstone at 1:30 a.m., as soon as she got into an Uber.
This friend, Roberto Torressaid he heard the driver ask the college student, “Do you like to party?”
Then, Torres said, Whetstone said she would call him back.
She never did.
“I called,” Torres told the store. “I called. I called – nothing.”
Just before 7 a.m., Whetstone was taken to a local hospital, according to the New Orleans Police Department. She was pronounced dead by medical staff. Her cause of death is still unknown to the public.
However, it is currently unclear who exactly released Whetstone at the hospital. Police only said she arrived by “private transportation”, meaning she did not arrive by ambulance.
“Ciaya attended a Mardi Gras parade, and there was only a big time gap until he dropped her off,” her cousin Grace Sutton told WCIV in an interviewrefers to the Uber driver.
“So we don’t really know,” she continued. “I just pray she doesn’t suffer and I just hope we get the justice she deserves. I just asked God, ‘Why, why, why, why, why her?’ I just feel very numb.”
Whetstone’s other cousin, Mari Suttonalso spoke to WCIV.
“She loved it there,” a grieving family member told the South Carolina television station. “I’ve never seen her happier in all my life, and she’s been since she’s been there.”
Whetstone’s obituary remembers her as a source of light to everyone she encountered:
She has never met a stranger and always makes everyone feel loved and accepted. Ciaya’s cheerful, life-loving, free-spirited, and larger-than-life personality has made an impact on everyone who knows her. She cherishes her family and loves her dog, Zoe.
Her death is being investigated by NOPD, the agency holding the mother. The scarcity of those details is painful for the Whetstone family.
“We just really want answers,” continued Mari Sutton. “We just want answers and want to know what happened.”
Uber released a statement saying it was willing to cooperate with the law enforcement investigation. Unknown Uber drivers’ access to the app is said to have been suspended.
[Images via Ciaya Jordan/Facebook, WGNO screengrab]
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/family-demands-answers-after-new-orleans-college-student-was-dropped-off-dead-at-hospital-following-mardi-gras-parade-and-early-morning-uber-ride/ Ciaya Whetstone’s family demands answers about her death