DALLAS - Italian newspapers reported that a passerby discovered the body of a missing Southern Methodist University graduate who vanished after she went for a jog.
The body of Allison Owens, 23, was reportedly found submerged in a ditch in San Giovanni Valdarno three days after she was reported missing on Sunday. The Italian newspaper reported that authorities believe she was killed in a hit-and-run accident, and are continuing their investigation.
Owens worked as a tour guide and was staying with friends in the province of Arrezo, Tuscany. She is the granddaughter of Jerry Owens, the former chairman of Owens Country Sausage.
Owens was a 2010 graduate of SMU. At SMU, Owens' sorority sisters fought back years. To them, "Allie" was family as a fellow Tri Delta.
SMU's Summer Dashe told News 8, Allie was outgoing, smart and very friendly, especially welcoming to Dasha as she became a Tri Delta.
Ben Voth taught Allie Owens in several classes. He learned of her disappearance on Facebook Tuesday night.
"When I looked at pictures, I thought, 'Oh my God, that is Allie,'" Voth said. "I was distraught, and when her body was found this morning, I was devastated."
Maria Dixon also taught her.
"[My first thought was] Not Allie... Not Allie," Dixon said. "Allie was not a kid that took chances, not the kid who [people] worried about. She was the responsible mother hen."
Owens volunteered her time working with kids. Those who knew her say she was unassuming and you wouldn't know she came from the famous Owens Country Sausage family.
And while her death is tragic, her professor said there is a life lesson here.
"Number one, recognize there is not a dress rehearsal for life," Dixon said. "That every day, you have an opportunity to do [what you want] with your life. Every day have an opportunity to decide what you are going to do with your time and recognize you have an opportunity to make a difference today."
Owens was named 2010 Outstanding Student in non-profit management in the division of corporate communications and public affairs in SMU's Meadows School of the Arts.
The school released the following statement on Wednesday in regards to Owens' death.
The SMU community mourns the loss of Allison Owens, a 2010 graduate, who has been reported dead in Italy of an apparent hit-and-run car accident. In 2010 Allison was named the Outstanding Student in Non-profit Management in the Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. We extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and other loved ones during this difficult time.