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Martin’s death confirmed suicide

A representative from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in the Tidewater District confirmed Tuesday that the death of Denise Martin, 22, of Virginia Beach and recent Longwood University graduate, was by suicide.

Denise Martin

The representative said that the cause of death was by drowning, and that the manner of death was by suicide.

Martin graduated from Longwood in May with a degree in theatre arts.

Martin was reported missing June 19 in the Red Mill area of Virginia Beach.

A body found at the 2600 block of Edgehill Avenue in Virginia Beach was confirmed to be Martin’s June 30 after taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner. In a previous statement released by Miriam Loya, friend of Martin’s who was involved in her search, she spoke about Martin’s influence as a friend, sister and daughter to her loved ones and thanked people for searching for her.

“Thank you to all that shared Denise’s story and helped in the search for her whether it was as a volunteer on foot, sharing a post or saying a prayer,” Loya said. “We ask that in this time and in the weeks to come, family and friends — keeping in mind those of us that took to social media as a means to helping in the search — are given the time to begin the healing process and mourn the loss of a beautiful daughter, sister, girlfriend and friend.”

“This is not the end of Denise’s story,” Loya said.

Longwood University released a statement in July in connection with Martin.

“Denise was a cherished member of Longwood’s theatre community, admired by her friends and teachers,” university representatives said in the release. “We are heartbroken over the loss of a citizen-leader of great talent with so much to offer the world. We keep her family in our hearts during the difficult days ahead.”

Bruce Speas, associate professor with the Department of Theatre, Art and Graphic Design and Animation, said he, with the department and students, will miss Martin and her dedication to theatre and those around her.

“Everyone with the Longwood Theatre program, as well as the entire Longwood University family, mourns the loss of Denise Martin,” Speas said in a statement. “Denise was a deeply caring and compassionate young woman who was greatly respected and admired by her fellow theatre students and faculty. Her talent, dedication and love of theatre was truly remarkable. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.”