Student was quiet, quirky, friends say

Morgan Day

Sarah Nusinow remembers her friend Leah Karp as a quiet girl with crazy sleeping patterns and a few bizarre habits.

“Leah stockpiled everything you would ever need in your lifetime,” said Nusinow, junior magazine journalism major. “Like duct tape — I’ve never seen so much duct tape in my life.”

Karp, 20, junior health studies major, was killed in an automobile accident Saturday on her way to visit her aunt. Another car, driven by Brandon Boles, 22, of Medina, hit Karp head-on while she was traveling northbound on state Route 57, Montville police said.

Police said both Karp and Boles were taken to Medina General Hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Karp’s funeral is at 2 p.m. today at the Temple Israel in Dayton.

Junior communications major Melody Allison lived with Karp in Centennial Court C as suite-mates. She said Karp had an indescribable laugh, and they would always joke about graduating and leaving Kent.

Allison and Karp laughed about how her teeth-whitening tube looked like a syringe and the possibility of Karp being a “druggie.”

“And she was addicted to plucking her eyebrows — plucking her eyebrows and whitening her teeth. She couldn’t stop,” Nusinow said with a laugh.

Once while Karp was at home sick, Nusinow finagled her way into Karp’s residence hall bedroom and rescued her beloved pets — a couple hermit crabs.

Karp couldn’t bear the thought of her pets going without care, so Nusinow created a story about needing her friend’s computer, and after a little persuading of residence hall personnel, got permission to enter Karp’s room. Someone distracted the residence hall employee who was monitoring them, while the Nusinow snuck the crabs out of the room.

Nusinow said Karp loved owning random items, like her abnormally-large rocket-shaped laundry hamper and her hot dog coin purse. Karp bought the purse because she had once dressed as a hot dog for Halloween.

“It made no sense, but that was just her personality,” Nusinow said.

Allison said she and Karp would laugh about a fake cat that sat atop their sink and how Karp’s grandmother randomly ordered it from the shopping channel.

“You know how people lock their laptops to their desks?” Allison said. “She locked hers to her bunk bed. She’s like, ‘No one’s gonna get my laptop.'”

Karp also loved reality TV, especially “COPS” and hospital shows. She had strange sleeping habits, Nusinow said, because she would schedule her classes for 7:45 in the morning and go to bed around 9 p.m.

Allison agreed Karp always went to bed unusually early.

“Once, she was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re never going to believe it. I stayed up till midnight at the Library,'” she said.

She said her funniest memory of Karp was the wall full of Post-it Notes that visitors always inquired about. They left each other notes for everything — especially their toilet that gurgled, she said.

Nusinow said Karp didn’t have many friends at Kent State. Her closest friends were those she attended high school with.

“You really had to know her before she would open up to you,” she said. “And she had a dry sense of humor, so you really had to pay attention to what she says.”

According to the police, the accident took place at the crest of a hill, and Karp had no time to react before Boles’ car hit hers.

Boles was driving with a suspended license, and police said alcohol consumption by him may have been a contributing factor.

Contact safety reporter Morgan Day at [email protected].