New Orleans Student Pronounced Dead at Hospital After Taking Uber Ride

A spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department said they are investigating the case as an "unclassified death"

ciaya jordan
Ciaya Jordan Whetstone. Photo: ciayajordan/Instagram

A 21-year-old University of New Orleans college student was pronounced dead over the weekend upon arrival at a nearby hospital after taking an Uber.

WYFF News 4 reports the woman has been identified as Ciaya Jordan Whetstone, a junior majoring in business, who was originally from Bamberg, South Carolina.

Whetstone was dropped off at the hospital via "private conveyance" just before 7 a.m. on Saturday, according to the New Orleans Police Department. Emergency medical personnel declared her "deceased" soon after she arrived.

In a Facebook post, Whetstone's co-worker, Dawn Gegenheimer, said her friend got into an Uber around 1 a.m. on Saturday.

ciaya jordan
Ciaya Jordan Whetstone. ciayajordan/Instagram

Another friend of hers, Juliett Orr, told the New Orleans Advocate that Whetstone called for an Uber after going out on Friday night for Mardi Gras.

After enjoying her time at a bar, a friend of Whetstone's took her to her boyfriend's house in Harahan. However, Orr said she later decided to get an Uber to check on her dog in the middle of the night.

That was the last time she was seen before she showed up at the hospital, though it is unclear if the Uber driver was the one who took her there.

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Fox Digital reports Uber has launched an investigation and deactivated the account of the driver who picked her up.

"Our thoughts are with Ciaya Whetstone's family as they grieve the loss of their daughter," a spokesperson for the company told the outlet. "We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation."

Whetstone's stepfather, Chris Ferrand, refused to comment on the case until the coroner determined the cause of death and police finished their investigation.

"Right now, my concern is getting Ciaya home so we can lay our angel to rest," he said.

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University of New Orleans college president, Dr. John Nicklow, released a statement following the news of Whetstone's death.

"As a University, few things are more challenging than dealing with the sadness of the death of a student," the statement read. "Our thoughts are with Ciaya's family and friends. We are offering counseling services to students and employees who need support."

The New Orleans Police Department said the incident remains under investigation as an "unclassified death."

Speaking to ABC4 News on Tuesday, Whetstone's cousin, Grace Sutton, said she was "just the most perfect friend and best cousin."

"We were the same age, and she always would talk to me when I needed her," Sutton said. "She never met a stranger, loved everyone and was the most fearless person I've ever met. She had the strongest relationship with God."

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