Tags: new zealand | college | student | death

New Zealand College Freshman's Death a Mystery

The University of Canterbury
The University of Canterbury. (Serget/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 September 2019 10:21 AM

A New Zealand college student was discovered dead in his dorm room Monday — nearly two months after he died.

The freshman's stepfather contacted police after being unable to locate him. But the body wasn't found at the University of Canterbury until after other students in his dorm complained about an odor, local media reported.

The length of time that it took for the body to be found meant that authorities could only confirm identity through fingerprints, DNA, and dental records.

As of Wednesday, no name, age, or cause of death had been made public, although an autopsy was planned and police were wrapping up their investigation at the scene.

Attention now turns to the university, with concerns being raised as to how a student's body could go unnoticed for such a long period of time.

Two resident assistants and a manager are employed to monitor the Sonoda dorm rooms, but an unnamed student told New Zealand news outlet Stuff that they had little contact with staff and there was an "overwhelming lack of presence from adult staff" in their halls.

"If a student was in crisis the hall of residence would have no idea," the student continued. "We could disappear for weeks and it would go unnoticed by staff here."

Chris Hipkins, New Zealand's education minister, questioned the level of care provided to the students at the university.

"If you're going into a hall of residence or a hostel, you are paying top dollar for not just a roof over your head but also the pastoral care that goes with that," he said, according to The Washington Post. "And I think clearly that's not been present in this case."

The university's vice-chancellor Cheryl de la Rey said it was "inconceivable to imagine how these circumstances could have occurred."

She added that the university would be commissioning an independent investigation into the student's death.

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A New Zealand college student was discovered dead in his dorm room Monday - nearly two months after he died.
new zealand, college, student, death
315
2019-21-25
Wednesday, 25 September 2019 10:21 AM
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