Family, friends mourn two Fayetteville State University students who died

Family and friends are mourning the loss of two Fayetteville State University students who died.

A vigil on Wednesday night honored Radiance Ellis, 32, of Fayetteville and Mia Barfield, 22, of Greenville. The university held the vigil in the courtyard of the Student Center.

Barfield was found dead Aug. 26 in the University Place Apartments after her family requested a wellness check. investigators have not said how she died.

Barfield’s funeral takes place in her hometown of Greenville.

WRAL News spoke with Ellis’ family, including her mother, Deborah Primus.

According to Primus, Ellis was a type-1 diabetic and died after a long battle with the disease.

“It was a tough go for her, but she stayed sick for a while,” Primus said. “So, we did it together with her and we got through it.”

Ellis’ family said she graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2013 with a degree in criminal justice. She went back to school seeking a second degree.

“This most recent one, she was going back for social work, and she had talked about it throughout the years trying to figure out what she wanted to do, but when she locked in on social work,” said Ellis’ husband, Joshua Ellis. “She definitely … definitely was all in for it.”

Fayetteville State University Chancellor Darrell Allison released a statement.

“As I shared with both of their mothers, our entire campus is grieving and praying, while also understanding the importance of coming together to shape the best path forward,” Allison said.

Lawrence Primus, Radiance Ellis’ father, shared what he’ll remember about his daughter.

“She was, oftentimes, in hard times in dark places,” Lawrence Primus said. “Just as her name is spelled, Radiance, she always had a smile.”

Ellis will be buried Friday at Cape Fear Conference B Headquarters in Raeford. – Local News