A body was discovered on campus Thursday belonging to missing Princeton University student Misrach Ewunetie, according to the prosecutor’s office in Mercer County.
Her body was discovered about 1 p.m. behind the tennis courts, according to Mercer County prosecutor Angelo Onofri and the school’s assistant vice president for public safety Kenneth Strother Jr.
Middlesex County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death, according to the statement. She did not appear to have suffered any injuries, and the cause of her death does not appear to be suspicious or criminal in nature.
In a statement, the university called the death an “unthinkable tragedy.”
“Our hearts go out to her family, her friends, and the many others who knew and loved her,” according to a statement from the university.
“We are planning an opportunity for students to join together and remember Misrach.”
The family of Eunetie said earlier Thursday they had been “kept in the dark” by authorities, according to her brother, who said the family was desperate for information and was working on putting together a timeline of Eunetie’s whereabouts so that she might be found.
After Ewunetie, 20, went missing from the university six days ago, officials began a concentrated search for her and have intensified their efforts.
She missed a meeting regarding her citizenship on Saturday, which was of great concern to her family, said her oldest brother, Universe Ewunetie.
He told reporters on Thursday, before the body was discovered, that the campus authorities and the district attorney’s office were not constantly updating or communicating with him, referring to the campus authorities and the district attorney’s office. “We’re really kept in the dark.”
Authorities have informed Universe Ewunetie that the investigation will take some time. “It is one thing we do not have, and that is time.”
Several reporters have sought comments on Universe Ewunetie’s allegations from the prosecutor’s office and the university’s department of public safety.
Law enforcement sources reported that investigators were searching Lake Carnegie, on Princeton’s campus, and its surrounding area after authorities used bloodhounds to trace Ewunetie’s scent from the dorm to the lake.
Governor Phil Murphy tweeted that he has contacted various law enforcement agencies regarding the missing student.
“I’ve been in touch with @NewJerseyOAG, @MercerCoPros, and the @NJSP who are doing everything they can to find missing @Princeton University student Misrach Ewunetie,” the Governor tweeted.
According to Universe Ewunetie, his sister as a “precious, beautiful soul,” who is an excellent listener and “cares about the people beyond her.”
While the family was “not particularly happy” that Ewunetie attended Princeton since it is far away from the family home in Ohio, they “did not want to discourage her,” said the brother, who with other relatives was posting flyers about their missing sister at Princeton.
“It’s very painful. (A) nightmare I cannot wake up from,” he added, fighting back tears. “I wish she was somewhere out there.”
According to Universe Ewunetie, their father attempted to contact his sister on Friday, but was unable to do so and assumed she was busy.
The telephone calls and texts had begun to go through on Saturday, but there was still no response, and by Sunday, the calls were being directed to voicemail.
She was last seen sleeping in her dorm room on Friday morning, according to family members who spoke with her roommates.
Last seen around 3 a.m. near a residential building on the university’s New Jersey campus.
She was reported missing on Monday and the university had urged anyone with information to reach out to the Department of Public Safety.
“As part of the ongoing efforts to locate missing undergraduate student Misrach Ewunetie ’24, law enforcement personnel are present on and around campus today as well as using helicopters, drones, and watercraft,” the university announced in an update to the community Wednesday.
On Thursday night, Ewunetie volunteered at one of the school’s 11 eating clubs, according to the president of the club. According to Terrace Club President Alexander Maravcsik, Ewunetie was on “duty” during a live music performance at the club, doing housekeeping work.
On Thursday night, one of our members was unable to attend our event, so Misrach volunteered to cover their shift. “After the club had closed and all duty responsibilities had been completed, Misrach and the other members on duty left for the evening,” Maravcsik wrote.
Ewunetie’s disappearance, according to Sara Elagad, executive director of the non-profit Minds Matter Cleveland, was unusual. Ewunetie is a 2020 graduate of the Minds Matter Cleveland program, which seeks to close the achievement gap between high-achieving and low-income students.
“It is not in character for her to intentionally disappear from the radar or lose contact with her family,” Elagad said. “We are supporting her family as they assist law enforcement efforts to safely locate her.”
Ewunetie was an honors graduate of Villa St. Angela-St. Joseph High School, according to a statement issued by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. In a statement issued by Deacon James Armstrong, he stated, “We pray for her quick and safe return.”.
According to an email to students, Princeton’s vice president for campus life, W. Rochelle Calhoun, said Ewunetie’s family requested a well-being check after not hearing from her for several days.
“Since Sunday, DPS has been actively working with the Prosecutor’s Office and with state and local police departments to follow all leads in the search for Misrach,” Calhoun said in the email.
For more coverage on this story, check the following additional news sources:
- Body of missing Princeton University student has been found CNN
- Missing Princeton student Misrach Ewunetie’s phone traced to NJ housing complex after she vanished: brother New York Post
- Search continues for missing Princeton student CBS New York
- Princeton University Public Safety Issues Alert for Missing Student TAPinto.net
- Princeton University officials are intensifying the search for a student who disappeared last week CNN