People began to notice the stench creeping from one of the college dorm rooms. Upon entering, authorities were shocked to find the decomposing body of a first-year University of Canterbury student.
Police had to call on a special team to examine fingerprints, DNA, and dental records to confirm the identity of the body that had been rotting away for two months, said Detective Senior Sgt. Craig Johnson. The identity of the body, as well as other details about the incident, was not made public, and no one knows why it has taken so long for the body to be found.
"It is inconceivable to imagine how these circumstances could have occurred," UC Vice-Chancellor Cheryl de la Ray told The Washington Post. She added that the university will conduct their own investigation to look into the lapse in spite of what de la Ray dubbed as an "extensive" well-being program to support students.
|Photo Credit: Katarzyna Białasiewicz via 123RF.com|
"This is an extremely distressing time for university students and staff," the vice-chancellor added, refusing to comment further in respect to the student's family.
Other students were also disturbed by the incident, according to UC student body president Sam Brosnahan.
New Zealand education minister Chris Hipkins called for the university to "conduct a thorough investigation" after hearing the outcry of university students about the incident.
"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," he said via the Associated Press. "And I think clearly that’s not been present in this case."
|Photo Credit: Mark Baker via The Washington Post|
The student's body was found in the Sonoda dorm, a complex that houses freshmen and is among the six dorms owned by the university and is managed by student housing authority Campus Living Villages.
It employs two resident assistants along with a manager, which is why former resident adviser Bex Ryan found it "unbelievable" that it took eight weeks to find the dead student.