Ayaanah Gibson, a pregnant 19-year-old freshman from Sacramento, was alone in her dormitory room at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., over the Labor Day weekend. At some point, Gibson gave birth, lost consciousness and bled to death, according to the local coroner.
Gibson’s body was found late Tuesday night, along with the baby, which apparently was stillborn, said Gary Watts, the Richland County coroner.
"She died from a loss of blood due to a spontaneous delivery," Watts said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times. He said Gibson, a chemistry major, was 30 to 32 weeks pregnant.
Watts said there was no indication of foul play. He said toxicology tests will be performed to determine whether Gibson was taking medication that might have interfered with her judgment or caused her to lose consciousness.
Gibson likely would have survived if she had received immediate medical attention, Watts said.
Gibson did not call 911 or otherwise seek help. She lived in a single-person dormitory room at Benedict, a small, private college in downtown Columbia. The school is located within 1½ miles of South Carolina’s three largest hospitals.
Benedict College is a Baptist-affiliated school with about 3,200 students. Founded in 1870, it is a historically black college.
The school identified Gibson late Thursday after her family was notified of her death.
"The Benedict family is deeply saddened about the unexpected loss of one of its students," the school said in a statement. "Please continue to pray for the Gibson and Benedict College Family."
The school said it has provided counselors on campus to meet with students and has kept the campus chapel open at night for students to pray.