Mary Karen Read, 19, 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 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 aunt Karen Kuppinger. She had yet to declare a major. I think she wanted to try to spread her wings, Kuppinger told the AP. She said her niece had struggled in 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.