New Zealand: college student dead in dorm for 8 weeks

New Zealand: college student dead in dorm for 8 weeks
Photo: University of Canterbury

A first year student from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury was reportedly dead for about two months before he was found. The incident has raised serious concerns regarding student welfare on the university campus.

The lifeless body of the male college student was found on Monday night. Fellow students noticed a foul smell coming from one of the Sonoda dorm rooms–an in-campus residence in Christchurch. They then alerted law enforcement according to local news outlets. Reports have not identified the deceased student.

Christchurch Press newspaper reports that his father tried to contact authorities after failing to locate his son. Very few details about the case were made public and the student’s cause of death has not been reported.

New Zealand’s education minister released a statement regarding the incident saying:

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

The statement continued, “I have asked the Tertiary Education Commission to reach out to the university to offer any support. This tragedy raises a number of questions and I expect the university to conduct a thorough investigation.”

The deceased student’s room was located at the end of a long hall. Cleaners in the residence reportedly did not have access to the rooms and worked only in the dorm’s common areas.

Craig Johnson, local Detective Senior Sergeant tells The Guardian, that investigation is being finalized regarding death and how it had gone unreported for so long. According to a close friend of the deceased, he would sometimes “go off the grid for a week or so.”

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