- A first-year student at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand was found dead in his room at the school’s Sonoda dorm in Christchurch on Monday night, according to the Christchurch Press.
- The man’s father had contacted police after he was unable to reach his son, and students had complained of a stench coming from his room.
- It remains unclear how the man died, but police, school administration officials, and government officials are investigating how exactly his body remained in a dorm room for nearly eight weeks.
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A first-year college student died in dorm room at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and his body wasn’t found for nearly two months.
The man’s body was discovered in a severe state of decomposition at the school’s Sonoda dorm in Christchurch on Monday night, according to the Christchurch Press. Authorities have not released the student’s name.
Officials opened the dorm room after the man’s father had contacted police because was unable to reach his son, and students had complained of a stench coming from the room.
The man’s body had gone untouched for so long that police had to call in a disaster victim identification team (DVI) team to examine the remains for finger prints, DNA, and dental records to confirm an identity.
Police also searched the room, and are seeking more information on the case.
Vice-chancellor of the university, Cheryl de la Rey, called the incident “inconceivable.”
“We understand that the matter is now with the Coroner and we are respectful of the family’s wishes at this time not to comment further,” she said in a statement posted on the university’s website. “The University will commission an independent comprehensive investigation to identify how this situation could have occurred and what actions need to be taken.”
Education Minister Chris Hipkins called for an investigation into the man’s death.
“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,” Hopkins told the Associated Press. “And I think that’s not been present in this case.”
The dorm where the student died is run by Australian company Campus Living Villages, which also operates dorms in the US and Britain, AP reported.
A single room at Sonoda costs NZ$16,849, or about $US10,500 a year. The dorm features 108 rooms.
Support has been offered to students in Sonoda as well as students across the university.
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