The boyfriend of a Pennsylvania college student was charged with criminal homicide Monday, after an autopsy found she had been severely beaten and strangled, authorities said.
Authorities say Gregorio Orrostieta, 19, called 911 to say his girlfriend – identified as Karlie Hall, 18, a student at Millersville University – had stopped breathing inside her dorm room. Investigating officers found Orrostieta attempting CPR, according to a criminal complaint.
But Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman, speaking at a Monday news conference, alleges it was all an act.
“The CPR, I believe, was completely fake and that she had been dead for hours probably before that,” Stedman said.
Questioned by police, Orrostieta said he shoved Hall, causing her to fall and hit her head on a chair, and then gave her a "back hand" to the face, the affidavit said. But he made no mention of choking her.
"He's responsible and we're going to hold him accountable," Stedman said.
Orrostieta had been charged only with aggravated assault pending the autopsy.
"She fought for her life," the prosecutor said.
Fellow students reported hearing a struggle in Hall’s dorm room after 2 a.m., causing the dorm's resident assistant to knock on the door, authorities said. No one answered and no further sound was heard. Orrostieta called 911 after 5 a.m.
Orrostieta, who is not a student at the university, had a cut on his forehead and blood on his face, hands and jeans, along with scratch marks on his chest and a ripped shirt, authorities said.
University President John Anderson Sunday released a statement about Hall’s death, calling the situation “an unfathomable loss.” The Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, native graduated from Unionville High School, and her twin sister, Kristen, is also a student at Millersville.
Hundreds of students held a candlelight vigil Monday at Millersville, a state-owned university with about 8,000 students. The students stood in the rain and held candles, many of them weeping as they sang hymns and campus minister Dwayne Netzler prayed.
Orrostieta is being held without bail and is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 19 for a preliminary hearing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.