Content Warning: The following article includes mention of student death. University Counseling services are available at 609-258-3141, and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at +1 (800) 273-TALK (8255). A Crisis Text Line is also available in the United States; text HOME to 741741. Students can contact residential college staff and the Office of Religious Life for other support and resources.
Misrach Ewunetie ’24, a University student who was last seen on campus on Friday morning, has been found dead near the edge of campus.
The Office of the Mercer County Prosecutor announced that at around 1 p.m. a facilities employee found Ewunetie’s body near the tennis courts on south campus.
At around 3 p.m., NBC New York reported her body was discovered, citing multiple law enforcement sources.
The statement from the prosecutor’s office said that “there were no obvious signs of injury and her death does not appear suspicious or criminal in nature.”
Casey DeBlasio, a spokesperson for the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, wrote to the ‘Prince’ that “no foul play is suspected in her death.”
Law enforcement on the scene and a New Jersey State Police spokesperson deferred The Daily Princetonian to University communications.
A campus message from Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun sent at 4 p.m. echoed similar sentiments as the press release, and added that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) “does not believe there is any related threat to campus or the surrounding area.”
University spokespeople and the Mercer County Medical Examiner’s Office were not immediately available for comment.
The campus community was first informed that Ewunetie was reported missing on Monday night through a TigerAlert. Since then, state and local agencies have been assisting in the search for the missing student, which was led by campus Public Safety.
Earlier this week, Universe Ewunetie, Misrach’s older brother, told multiple news sources that her phone last pinged on Sunday around 3:27 a.m. near Penns Neck, a neighborhood about a seven minute drive from campus.
Some construction workers on campus were also asked on Thursday morning to assist with the search, according to one construction worker who spoke with the ‘Prince.’
Ewunetie was 20 years old and a junior in the sociology department, and attended high school in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Misrach’s death is an unthinkable tragedy,” Calhoun wrote in the email to the campus community. “Our hearts go out to her family, her friends and the many others who knew and loved her.”
The message noted that the University is planning “an opportunity for students to join together and remember Misrach” and that information about the gathering will be shared separately.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have increased staffing and patrols in student living areas, on a campus that is already patrolled 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by sworn law enforcement officers and security officers,“ Calhoun wrote in a message to parents and families of undergraduates regarding campus safety as students return from fall break. “Access to campus residential areas is also controlled.”
Dean of the College Jill Dolan also expressed these sentiments in an email to all undergraduates.
Dolan’s email also stated that “Undergraduate Student Government (USG) has asked us to invite faculty to take a moment at the beginning of their classes this week to recognize Misrach’s death and to refer students to the support services.”
This story is breaking and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.
Drew Somerville is a Head News Editor who has covered USG, University and COVID-related affairs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @andr3wsom
Katherine Dailey is a Head News Editor who often covers breaking news, politics, and University affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @kmdailey7.