Students describe encounter with homeless woman who used their shower


On Thursday, Aug 30, a woman not from the university was caught showering in a student’s dorm in Irwin Hall.
Photo by Kayla Drake

KAYLA DRAKE | Multimedia Producer 

Two Lindenwood students said they were shaken up by an encounter last week with a stranger they caught showering in their bathroom.

The students, junior Jordan Lea and senior Emma Ludwig, said the incident happened about 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 30.

They had been waiting for about 30 minutes to use the shower — because they thought their suitemate was using it — when they smelled cigarette smoke.

Ludwig knocked on the bathroom door.

“Are you smoking?” Ludwig asked.

A woman answered that she burned her hair while straightening it. 

A short time later, the woman left the bathroom and started walking out of the dorm. When Lea realized that the woman was not her suitemate, she told Ludwig to follow her. 

“Never did a thought cross through my mind that she didn’t belong [in the dorm],” Lea said. 

Ludwig followed the woman down the hall. Ludwig described her as thin, in her 20s, with tan skin and dark brown long hair. 

“Did you just use our bathroom?” Ludwig asked the woman.

The woman then told Ludwig that her friend Erica had told her to come and use the bathrooms. 

Ludwig asked where Erica was, and the woman said she was out in the parking lot. When Ludwig followed her outside, no one was there. 

Then the woman repeatedly apologized and told Ludwig she was “kicked out of her house.”

After the woman left, Ludwig called public safety. Both security and St. Charles police are investigating.

The doors to the student’s dorm and bathroom had been left unlocked. The students said they realized that in addition to showering, the woman had stolen razors, an electric toothbrush and toothpaste. 

Since the incident, associate director of Residential Life Jesus Lopez met with the suitemates who shared the bathroom and apologized that his staff “didn’t respond quickly,” Lea said. 

Director of Residential Life Terry Russell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lea has since moved into another room in the dorm because she felt uncomfortable after the incident. However, Ludwig said she will stay in the same room and is thankful the situation did not escalate. 

“I honestly think that she was just a girl who needed a shower,” Ludwig said.