Classmates Remember ISU Student Killed in Hit-and-Run

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AMES, Iowa -- The Ames Police Department is investigating a hit-and-run accident that killed an Iowa State student near campus Monday morning.

An Iowa State University police officer discovered the body of 18-year-old EmmaLee Jacobs in the intersection of Lincoln Way and Ash Avenue around 7:00 a.m. Police say Jacobs  was suffering from injuries consistent with being hit by a car.

EmmaLee Jacobs. Courtesy: Vinton Today

EmmaLee Jacobs. Courtesy: Vinton Today

She was transported to a local hospital where she died.

Josie Chesmore described Jacobs as a shy math whiz, a pre-business major and a girl who hated cameras.

“She didn't like to be in the spotlight, but … she was beautiful.  She hated, oh she hated getting her picture taken,” Josie Chesmore said.

Josie said that while some friends drift apart after going to college, that was not the case with her and EmmaLee. So when the rumor started Monday morning that something terrible had happened to her friend, Josie called her mom, Kelli.

“My mom is good friends with EmmaLee`s parents, and my mom confirmed it,” Josie said.

Kelli Chesmore said she hit the floor when she got the news.  She says parents send their children off to college assuming they’ll be safe.

“I hope that cameras were out there and that this was caught on camera. It's just nothing that you could ever imagine,” she said.

Josie Chesmore said she just wants someone to come forward.

“Somebody needs to just step up and own up to what they did,” she said.

Kelli and her husband are bringing Josie home so she and EmmaLee’s other friends can lean on each other.

Channel 13's Dan Winters spoke with Cory Rhinehart, who said he and Jacobs had been dating for about two years.

ISU President Steven Leath released a statement Monday afternoon regarding Jacobs' death:

"We were shocked and saddened to learn this morning that an Iowa State student, Emmalee Jacobs, died after being struck by a car in Ames. On behalf of the entire Iowa State University family, I extend condolences to the Jacobs family and to her friends at Iowa State and in her hometown, Urbana, Iowa. It’s always difficult to see a young life taken, particularly when it’s one of our students who had been with us only a few months. The Ames Police Department is investigating this tragedy as a hit-and-run accident. I join the Ames and ISU Police Departments in encouraging anyone with information that may help identify the driver of the car to contact Ames Police."

Ames police are reviewing any available surveillance video and are asking anyone who may have been in the area between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. to contact authorities by calling the Ames Police Department at 515-239-5133 or the anonymous tip line at 515-239-5533.

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