On Thursday, local officials announced that missing Princeton student Misrach Ewunetie was found dead six days after she vanished in the wake of an off-campus event.
The body of the 20-year-old was found by a facilities employee behind the tennis courts near the edge of the campus, the office of the Mercer County Prosecutor said in a post on Twitter. Her body was located around 1 p.m. on Thursday.
Authorities said they do not know her cause of death but noted that “there were no obvious signs of injury and her death does not appear suspicious or criminal in nature.”
In addition, Investigators said that they had recovered Ewunetie’s cellphone near her remains, and they do not believe her body was “placed” where it was found.
In a statement, the school’s Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun called Ewunetie’s death an “unthinkable tragedy.”
“Our hearts go out to her family, her friends and the many others who knew and loved her,” she said. “We are planning an opportunity for students to join together and remember Misrach. Information about the gathering will be shared separately when details are known.”
She was last seen on Oct. 14, and her disappearance sparked an intense statewide manhunt in New Jersey.
The night before her disappearance, Ewunetie had been volunteering at one of Princeton’s exclusive eating clubs, according to the student newspaper The Daily Princetonian.
“On Thursday night, one of our members who was initially signed up for duty was unable to attend our event, and Misrach volunteered to cover their shift. After the club had closed and all of the duty responsibilities had been fulfilled, Misrach—as well as the other members on duty—left for the night,” the eating club said in a statement.
Ewunetie, a junior at the elite school, was last seen in the early morning brushing her teeth in Scully Hall, according to one of her suitemates. However, when her roommate returned around 4:30 a.m., she was nowhere to be found.
Her brother said her phone had pinged near an off-campus housing complex about a 30-minute walk from her dorm before it went silent.
That housing complex was scoured by police three times with no luck. School officials sent out multiple alerts urging anyone with information on her disappearance to come forward, and drones and watercraft were even deployed by authorities to comb the 600-acre campus.
“She is the gem of the house, their only daughter and the youngest,” her brother Universe Ewunetie recently told the Sun. “She is very loved.”
Just hours before police found her body Thursday, her brother gave a desperate interview begging for her return on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“We just want the law to be faster because time is of the essence,” he said. “We can take any help we can find.”
He had said it was strange that his sister’s phone pinged off-campus, calling the leafy Ivy League grounds “very insular.”
Her brother said that the Ivy League campus was “very insular,” and remarked that “it’s very odd that her phone would be off campus. Like everything is on campus.”
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