21-year-old Jessica Fingers was found dead on Easter Sunday in a Columbia University dorm room.
According to a report from the New York Post, Fingers was found to be unresponsive by her boyfriend and another friend late on the morning of March 31. She was declared dead at the scene by first responders.
Fingers had been a student at Columbia, but was currently on leave. She was reportedly in New York City visiting friends, including her boyfriend. It has been reported that Fingers, who is from Monticello, New York, was a star high school student and an accomplished cross-country runner.
The cause of her death has not yet been officially determined, though foul play is not suspected. Police do suspect that Fingers may have died of a drug overdose.
Kevin Shollenberger, dean of student affairs at Columbia, has released a statement to the student body expressing the university's regrets and informing students that counselors, advisors, RAs, and the university chaplain are currently available for grieving students. From the statement:
It is with deep sadness and regret that I write to inform you of the untimely loss of one of our students who has been on leave from Columbia but visiting campus at the time of her passing.
Although the local police department has made contact with the family, unfortunately, at this time we have been unable to reach them. Out of respect for the family, we will not release the student’s name until we have done so.
When we lose a member of our community, we are all affected by the loss. During this time, I encourage you to rely on one another and University resources...
(Image courtesy Nowhereman86/Wikimedia Commons)