Mary Karen Read

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Mary Karen Read, 19, of Annandale, Va.

Read was born in South Korea into an Air Force family and lived in Texas and California before settling in the northern Virginia suburb of Annandale.

Read, 19, considered a handful of colleges, including nearby George Mason University, before choosing Virginia Tech. It was a popular destination among her Annandale High School classmates, according to her auntKarenKuppinger.

She had yet to declare a major.

"I think she wanted to try to spread her wings," said Kuppinger, of Rochester, N.Y.

Kuppinger said her niece had struggled adjusting to Tech's sprawling 2,600-acre campus. But she had recently begun making friends and looking into a sorority.

Kuppinger said the family started calling Read as news reports surfaced.

"After three or four hours passed and she hadn't picked up her cell phone or answered her e-mail ... we did get concerned," Kuppinger said. "We honestly thought she would pop up."

Please sign the Guest Book for this victim of the shootings on Monday, April 16, 2007, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press

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