A Student at Princeton University missing a few days ago was found dead, authorities said on Thursday.
The body of Misrach Ewunetie, 20, was discovered by an employee around 1 p.m. behind the university’s tennis courts, the Mercer County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death, but prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri said “there were no obvious signs of injury and his death does not appear suspicious or criminal in nature.”
The school said there was no threat to the campus or surrounding area.
“Misrach’s death is an unthinkable tragedy. Our hearts go out to her family, friends, and the many others who knew and loved her,” said Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun. . said.
Earlier Thursday, campus security informed students that they would see more drones, helicopters and watercraft soliciting the university for Ewunetie, which had not been seen since October 14.
Prior to the discovery, Ewunetie’s mother, Tiruedil Kassa, had urged anyone with information to come forward, saying NBC Affiliate WKYC of Cleveland“Just if they have something, tell us, tell the police, tell somebody.”
She described her daughter as quiet, reserved and kind.
“He’s such a confident person, just a lovely person,” she said.
Ewunetie had attended an event on October 13 at the Terrace Club, a dining hall, and returned to her dorm where her roommates saw her around 3 a.m. But after 4 a.m. a roommate said she was gone, Ewunetie’s brother, Universe Ewunetie, told NBC News on Wednesday.
Universe Ewunetie said he and his sister were texting on October 13, the last time he heard from her. On Sunday, his phone had died.
Kassa told WKYC: “We can’t find his phone. We don’t know, it’s just been off since Sunday. Before it was working. »
Ewunetie, who was part of the class of 2024, disappeared on Oct. 14, the last day of classes before the start of a week-long fall vacation on campus, a time when many students return home.
The Ivy League University said in an email to students that its public safety department was informed by Ewunetie’s family on Sunday evening that they had not heard from her for several years. days and asked for a health check.
As of Sunday, the Princeton University DPS had been leading the investigation into her disappearance with the Mercer County District Attorney’s Office. On Monday, the school issued an alert to campus that Ewunetie was missing.
On Wednesday and Thursday, students at Princeton University were told to expect an increased law enforcement presence on and around campus as the desperate search continued with the use of a helicopter, drones and personal watercraft.
Universe Ewunetie said the family is from Ethiopia and her sister grew up in Euclid, Ohio. She had no connection to the New Jersey area outside of school, he said.
“She is loved and cared for, and we miss her,” he said.
Cleveland Councilman Charles Slife and Councilwoman Rebecca Maurer had also posted a public video advocacy to help find Ewunetie.
They said they worked with her at Minds Matter Cleveland, a nonprofit that provides academic and mentoring resources to high-achieving, low-income high school students.
“She’s an amazing student, that’s not typical behavior,” Maurer said in the clip.
Slife said Ewunetie worked with them for three years every weekend “to try to make sure she could get to the college of her dreams, and she was so thrilled when she got to Princeton.”
He described her on Facebook as “a dedicated student” who earned valedictorian honors in high school and a full ride to Princeton.
Slife added that the sociology major was “interning for Bank of America and working for McKinsey.”
Ewunetie High School, Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School in Cleveland, said she graduated with honors in 2020.