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Former Rutgers student accused of "bath salts" murder dies in jail

Former Rutgers student William Parisio, who was accused of murdering his girlfriend, died in a Union County jail on Feb. 17, according to nj.com. The cause of death is still under investigation.

Parisio, 25, was awaiting trial for the 2011 homicide of University student Pamela Schmidt, according to a Daily Targum article. Authorities said Parisio struck Schmidt with a 12-pound dumbbell weight and strangled her.

Although Parisio was not under the influence when arrest, his mother said her son was a user of the synthetic drug "bath salts," and the sale and distribution of the drug was subsequently banned by the state of New Jersey, according to a Daily Targum article.

According to a Union County Prosecutor’s Office press release, Parisio was pronounced dead late Monday morning at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth after being transported there from the jail.

An autopsy on Thursday revealed no obvious signs of significant trauma to Parisio, with the cause of death pending additional toxicology and biological tests, according to the release.

The Union County Police Department is handling the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Parisio’s death, and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office is also reviewing the matter.

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