Teen dies after visit to prof's condo

April 29, 2008 Andria Ziegler, who was 19-years-old, is being laid to rest today by her parents and seven brothers and sisters.

Paramedics responded to a medical call for help around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, April 20, at the home of Michael Todd, a 51-year-old psychology professor at Paradise Valley Community College. Paramedics found Andria Ziegler -- Todd's student for two semesters -- unresponsive. She was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Initial autopsy results did not show a cause for Ziegler's death, according to a spokeswoman at the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office. Toxicology tests, which authorities said will likely answer that outstanding question, could take several weeks.

Todd is not currently a suspect, as police cannot yet say for sure that a crime was committed. But his condominium has been combed through as if it were a crime scene, the city's homicide unit is investigating and Todd has retained a lawyer, Mike Roth, who did not return multiple phone calls from ABC News.

The college has also put Todd on paid leave while school officials look into possible administrative violations surrounding his relationship with the student.

"We've had some correspondence with his attorney," Sgt. Joel Tranter at the Phoenix Police Department told ABC News. "He's not been named a suspect."

One troubling detail of the events that morning that has devastated Ziegler's large, tight-knit family and raised eyebrows for investigators is that when paramedics arrived at the house, Todd declined to identify Ziegler. This, even though Todd was her professor and according to family members, had been courting her romantically for two months.

"He knew who she was," Tranter said. "I don't think anyone's going to argue that. He didn't reach out to her parents or anything like that."

Police and Ziegler's family members also said Todd did not accompany Zeigler to the hospital. After she died, she arrived at the morgue as a "Jane Doe," or unidentified female.

By then, her family had already begun to search for Ziegler, who lives at her parents' Phoenix home. "She did not call," Doug McManus, Ziegler's stepfather, said in an interview with ABC News. "That left us to think that something was definitely wrong."

It was around noon Monday that Ziegler's family went to the Phoenix police station to file a missing person's report -- roughly 36 hours after their daughter had died -- and authorities matched the 19-year-old's description with the "Jane Doe" who arrived at the morgue the previous day.

Andria Ziegler was with her sisters until about 8 p.m. the Saturday night before her death, McManus said. She was supposed to meet some friends around 11 p.m. but never showed up.

Ziegler's family knew vaguely about Todd, who McManus said had been trying to date his stepdaughter before her death. "About three or four weeks ago, she asked if she could date a 35-year-old," he said. "She was enamored by this professor. He just put on the polish."

After she died, McManus said he tried reaching out to Todd, e-mailing him and calling all the listings for Michael Todd in the area. The family members went to the university to talk to administrators about the professor. When they learned his address, they went to the condominium and discovered their daughter's car parked at the condo. Todd was no longer at the apartment.

While Tranter said he did not understand why the professor may have kept his student's identity secret, he also said that criminal culpability could be tricky in this case. If Ziegler died of a drug overdose, for example, there could be an investigation into where she acquired the drugs that may involve Todd.

There are details of the case, including evidence recovered at the scene, that Tranter declined to discuss, given the ongoing nature of the investigation. But Tranter also stressed that Ziegler is 19 years old and therefore an adult who can make her own decisions.

John Hughes, a private detective for the Blackstone Investigation Agency and a neighbor and friend of Ziegler's family, is digging into Todd's background in addition to the police investigation, which he described as "sensitive."

Hughes said that in the past few days, he already has interviewed on tape "several young ladies" who claim to have been taken advantage of in some way or another by Michael Todd. One of the women he interviewed, he said, was Todd's ex-wife, who described her former husband as a "manipulative talker."

"We as a family want something done instantly, but investigators must do things methodically," McManus said. "This guy is a predator. My daughter is in heaven now. Something good will come out of this."

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