The memories of a former MCCC student continue to live in the hearts of those who knew her.
Julia Niswender lit up the room every time she went somewhere. She made her presence known, best friend Jacob McLaughlin
“She was such a bubbly, fun person. She had a laugh you couldn’t forget,” Julia’s twin sister, Jennifer Niswender, said.
The 2011 graduate of MCCC had been majoring in communications and electronic media and film at Eastern Michigan University.
Jennifer Niswender said that Julia’s career aspirations were to be a reporter or an anchor.
“She wanted to be out there,” Jennifer said.
Julia always said that I was going to write and she would be the reporter.
What happened on the night of Dec. 11 would be tragic.
According to the Detroit Free Press and Ann Arbor.com, friends and family said that they had not seen Julia for a couple days and wondered where she was.
When police came to check on her, she was found dead in her off-campus apartment. The college junior’s death is being investigated
as a homicide.
Lt. Deric Gress of the Ypsilanti Police department said in a recent media release:
“The Ypsilanti police continues to investigate and interview a number of subjects, and are working closely with the family of Julia Niswender. We are still awaiting results from toxicology, forensic, laboratory analysis, and a final autopsy report.”
Jacob McLaughlin had been best friends with Julia for almost 13 years.
“You couldn’t ask for a better friend,” he said.
“She was always adventurous, fun, ready to do. She’d be spontaneous,” Jacob said.
A former MCCC student who knew Julia said in a Facebook message said she was known for her great energy and personality, making her an easy person to befriend.
“Julia was a go-getter,” she said. “Julia was determined to have a bright future taking every
opportunity she could to fulfill her dreams.”
Jacob also described Julia as very bubbly and never depressed or down.
Jacob said Julia knew her way around his house and was comfortable there. She knew where
the snack cabinet was and that there would be Mountain Dew waiting for her. It was one of her
favorite drinks, Jacob said.
Jacob said that sometimes they would gather around a campfire in the backyard, talking and sharing advice.
It has been a month since the tragedy. Yet, Julia’s death still remains a mystery and her family is frustrated.
“They just want answers,” Jacob said.
Jennifer Niswender is Julia’s twin sister who graduated from MCCC and was former Editor
Chief of the Agora staff. Their inseparable bond between one another was indescribable.
“You can’t put it into words. It’s something you can’t explain. She was such a big part of me,” Jennifer said.
Half of your heart is gone, she said. She was my other half.
Jennifer and Julia had matching tattoos: A pink and purple heart that interlocked. Each heart had a name: Jennifer and Julia.
Jennifer said it was Julia’s idea; she ‘bugged’ her into getting one.
Jennifer said that Julia held her hand throughout the entire tattooing procedure; she concluded that it was not so bad.
Julia, on the other hand, cried through the entire ordeal, Jennifer said.
Jennifer has recently resumed work and her sister’s spirit gives her strength to get through every day.
“There’s not a minute that goes by that I don’t think of her,” she said.
Her last memory of Julia was at her workplace at Walmart in Saline.
Jennifer bought lunch for her sister and they ate together.
After their visit, Julia walked her out to the car and Jennifer kissed her on the cheek.
“I love you and I will see you later,” Jennifer said.
“I love you, too,” Julia replied.
Support for Jennifer and her family has spanned across the Monroe community, the nation
and even worldwide.
“We still have so many people reaching out to us. We want everyone to know how thankful we
are,” she said.
Julia’s memory will forever be a light in the tragedy’s darkness.
“I’m going to live every day for her and she’s going to live through me,” Jennifer said.
“If we keep her memory alive, she’ll always be with us. She’ll continue to live through us,” Jacob