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No foul play in Fermilab death

Published: Thursday, May 6, 2010 3:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2010 3:07 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Police said they do not suspect foul play in the death of a young woman this morning at Fermilab.

The woman, whose name and age is not being released pending notification of her family, was found unresponsive inside the Batavia international laboratory and pronounced dead at the scene.

About 10:50 a.m., employees investigating a noise they heard found the woman lying in the atrium of Wilson Hall, according to a Fermilab statement. Batavia paramedics pronounced her dead just after 11 a.m.

DuPage County Sheriff's police continue to investigate the incident, and could not release further details.

Fermilab workers learned of the death through the campus-wide emergency alert system usually used for events like tornado warnings, Fermilab scientist and Geneva alderman Chuck Brown said.

The system "announced instantly that the first floor of Wilson Hall was cordoned off because there was a fatal accident, and the lunch room would be closed down," he said Thursday afternoon while sitting in his secondary office away from Wilson Hall.

"Everybody said, 'Oh my gosh, that's terrible,' " Brown said.

Brown's primary office is located in Wilson Hall, which he had to enter after the death was announced, he said. As he took the elevator to his office, the doors opened on the second floor, giving him a view of the many public safety officials on the first floor, he said.

Since then, Brown has been keeping away from the high rise, which contains meeting rooms, the public information office and cafeteria, he said. Most of the scientific work is done elsewhere, he said.

Brown said he is continuing his work this afternoon and suspects most others will, too.

"At the moment," he said, "there is no indication who the person is or any indication that it's anyone we know."

• Shaw Suburban Media reporter Kate Thayer contributed to this report.

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