Police investigate incident hours before Love's death 

Charlottesville police are investigating whether University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely V was involved in an altercation with 22-year-old Yeardley Love just hours before she was found dead in her apartment, officials said.

Huguely and Love were at a restaurant in Charlottesville when the alleged altercation took place, police spokesman Lt. Gary Pleasants said. He said he did not know whether violence was involved.

"We're not going to go into any specifics" regarding different leads, Pleasants said. He said the police department is being inundated with information indicating Huguely and Love had more than one violent encounter.

Huguely and Love dated off and on over the past year and a half. They broke up several weeks ago, but partied in similar company hours before Love's roommate found Love bruised and beaten, facedown on her bed in a pool of blood.

Huguely was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder in Love's death hours after police arrived on the scene. Pleasants said police did not test Huguely for drugs or alcohol.

Two months ago, one former and two current University of North Carolina lacrosse players broke up an altercation between Huguely and Love at a party, according to news reports. Pleasants said police had not heard of the incident.

"There are too many accounts, and we have half a dozen detectives working on it," he said.

Huguely was charged in 2008 with resisting arrest and public intoxication after he threatened to kill a female police officer outside a Washington & Lee fraternity house. In 2008, police were called when Huguely jumped from a 40-foot yacht off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla., after a heated confrontation with his father. In 2007. Huguely was charged with possessing alcohol as a minor.

University of Virginia President John Casteen said school officials were not aware of Huguely's arrest record. He said students are responsible for self-reporting off-campus arrests, and said the school needs to crack down on unreported incidents. As an initial step, Casteen has instructed the university to begin screening students against a state law enforcement database before the start of each semester.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Thursday he will meet with Casteen to "study and fully consider every possible idea that could help prevent such a senseless crime from taking place in the future."

Huguely remains in custody and medical examiners have concluded an autopsy on Love's body, for which preliminary results are expected as early as Thursday evening.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said he suspects Love died from her physical injuries.

On a Baltimore radio station Thursday morning, Longo said he couldn't speculate why Love's roommate first reported alcohol overdose when she found Love's body.

Love's physical injuries were obvious to officers who responded to her roommate's 911 call early Monday morning, Longo said.

Following the autopsy, Love's body was returned to her Cockeysville, Md., home, where her parents have set up two memorial funds: the Yeardley Love Memorial Fund at Notre Dame Prep and the Yeardley Love Women's Lacrosse Scholarship Fund with the Virginia Athletic Foundation.

hpeterson@washingtonexaminer.com

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Hayley Peterson

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Monday, Sep 15, 2014

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