UPDATE: Fellow Alabama State University student charged in killing

Credit: Social media photo

Credit: Social media photo

Adam Dowdell was found dead after he was reported missing Sept. 8

An Alabama State University standout student has been charged in the slaying of fellow student Adam “Belle” Dowdell, according to AL.com.

Two years ago, Ivry Hall was lauded in news stories from Alabama to Illinois after overcoming the deaths of his parents at a young age and escaping a life of inner-city gang violence on Chicago’s South Side to being named his high school valedictorian, AL.com reported.

Now Hall is charged in the killing of Dowdell, whose remains were found Sept. 14, nearly a week after he left his campus dorm room with a friend to get cash from an ATM, according to AL.com.

The Montgomery Police Department charged Hall, 20, of Montgomery with murder. Hall was placed in the Montgomery County Detention Facility, AL.com reported, citing a statement from police.

“The circumstances surrounding the shooting are unknown however, Hall was identified as the suspect. There is no additional information available for release in connection to this continuing investigation,” police said in a statement.

Dowdell, a 22-year-old physical education major, went missing on the night of Sept. 8 after leaving his dorm to run an errand. His body was found six days later near the 800 block of Hutchinson Street in Montgomery, not far from the campus, according to reports.

Alabama Department of Forensic Science is conducting an autopsy as the investigation continues, according to AL.com.

Dowdell’s mother, Toya Cohill, said she last spoke to her son the day before he vanished, and other family members spoke to him by telephone the next night. Dowdell told them he was catching a ride to the bank with another student to pick up some cash.

The next morning, Dowdell’s friends texted Cohill, saying the sophomore transfer student never returned to the dorm and that no one had heard from him.

Family immediately drove an hour south to the campus to look for him, but Dowdell’s phone was either dead or turned off, leaving them helpless to track his whereabouts.

Upon checking his dorm room, they found that Dowdell had left behind his backpack and phone charger, indicating he hadn’t planned to be out for long.

Undeterred, the family spent nearly a full week passing out flyers before Monday’s chilling discovery near the old Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery.

Cohill said she is struggling to overcome the shock of her son’s death and said “it would mean a whole lot to me” to see his killer brought to justice.

“I hope you rot in hell. It’s just that simple,” she said, according to AL.com.

“I’m not good,” she continued. “I’m not good at all. We are all so lost, our hearts have just crumbled ... I didn’t expect this. My mind is blank.”

Dowdell graduated from Montevallo High School in Alabaster. He was an honor roll student at ASU and wanted to be a special education teacher, AL.com reported.

"He was a very smart kid,'' Cohill said. "Adam was a sweet, adorable kid,'' she said. “He was very mannerable. Everybody loved him, and he loved everybody. This shouldn’t have happened to him.”

Quinton T. Ross Jr., the school’s president, released a statement Monday, saying the entire university community was devastated by the news. “We all had hoped for a different outcome,” Ross said. “Losing a student is always difficult, and the Hornet Nation is in mourning over his death. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with Adam’s mother and the rest of his family and friends as they face this tragic loss.”

Anyone with information in the case should call Central Alabama Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP, Secret Witness at 334-625-4000 or the Montgomery Police Department at 334-625-2831.

Rich Barak of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.