A University of Chicago junior was found dead in his dorm room this weekend after students on his floor complained of “foul odours,” the Chicago Tribune reports, raising questions of how long his body remained undiscovered.
According to the Tribune, Nicholas Barnes had last used his dorm access card eight days before his decomposing body was found Saturday afternoon. UChicago informed students of Barnes’ death in an email from the school’s Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services:
I am writing with the terribly sad news that Nicholas Brastins Barnes, a third-year student in the College, was found deceased in his room at International House on Saturday afternoon. The cause of death is under investigation by the Chicago Police Department, but there is no evidence of foul play. University staff are making every effort to understand the circumstances surrounding Nicholas’ death.
While a significant amount of time elapsed between the last time Barnes used his access card and the discovery of his body, UChicago officials told the Tribune it may not reveal much about when he died, as “students don’t always need to use their key cards when entering or exiting the building depending on the time of day.”
Regardless of when Barnes died, students are uncomfortable with the idea that one of their peers may have remained undiscovered after his death.
As one dorm resident told ABC News, “I don’t understand how the people that live next door, and the people who were responsible for his well-being could have not seen that he has been gone for a week.”
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