Police discover student’s body in his room, 2 months after he died

The anonymous man was a first-year student at the University of Canterbury. Canadian Press

A student’s dead body was found in a residence hall of a New Zealand university after being left there for two months.

It’s believed that the father of the first-year University of Canterbury student contacted the police after failing to find his son through friends.

The body of the unnamed student was discovered in his room with the door closed. No cause of death has been determined as yet.

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According to the local publication, the body was found around 11 p.m. on Monday at the Sonoda Christchurch Campus when students complained of an odour.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins called it an “incredibly distressing time,” adding that he had limited information about the young man’s death.

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“I’m really concerned about it,” he said. “This tragedy raises a number of questions and I expect the university to conduct a thorough investigation.

“No one should be left for that length of time in a hall of residence or hostel.”

The young man’s body was found in his residence room at Sonoda Christchurch Campus. Canadian Press

His statement continued: “My thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim. This must be an incredibly distressing time for them.

“I have asked the Tertiary Education Commission to reach out to the university to offer any support.”

Given the length of time the body had been left, the disaster victim identification team had to be called in to use fingerprints and teeth for identification.

The Guardian notes that the boy’s room was at the end of a long hallway. No cleaners tidy the rooms, only the common areas. Floor representatives had meetings each week with students, but they’re not mandatory.

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Lynn McClelland, the school’s executive director of student services and communications, sent out an email the day following the discovery.

“We have offered our deepest condolences to the student’s family and loved ones, and are respecting their wishes for privacy at this time,” the email read.

“We know this is a difficult time for many, so please look after yourself and one another.”

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