CHICAGO (KDKA/AP) – The body of a male University of Chicago student from Pennsylvania – who police say had been dead for some time – was found in his campus dorm room over the weekend, university officials said Sunday.
Chicago police spokesman Mike Sullivan said officers found the body at the university building around 4:15 p.m. on Saturday. He didn’t have further details on the state of the body or the investigation.
The deceased was identified as third-year student Nicholas Brastins Barnes of Pittsburgh, university officials said. The 20-year-old was found in his room at the International House on campus, which is a residential and program center.
“It’s just an awful situation to hear of,” said Paul Ejzak of Shady Side Academy. “Since I heard the news, all I have thought of is the wonderful strident and young man that nick was.”
Barnes was a 2011 graduate of Shady Side Academy. He grew up in the area as well. But on the school’s campus, he was remembered as an athlete and a wordsmith.
“Nick had an easy nature about him,” Ejzak said. “A kind of easy, relaxed nature about him. That’s what comes to mind.”
The Cook County medical examiner’s office said the results of a Sunday autopsy were inconclusive and toxicology reports are pending.
There was no evidence of foul play, according to a campus-wide email sent to students from Karen Warren Coleman, vice president for campus life and student services. She said the cause of death was under investigation. No further details about the death or condition of the body were released.
“University staff are making every effort to understand the circumstances surrounding Nicholas’ death,” Coleman’s email said.
Barnes was majoring in Germanic studies and had studied in Austria in the fall of 2012, undergraduate Dean of Students Susan Art wrote to students, staff and faculty in another email. She noted his involvement in the campus literary publication called Sliced Bread Magazine.
“Nick will be painfully missed,” Art wrote. “He was an excellent student, admired by faculty and peers alike.”
The university planned to host a campus memorial and Barnes’ family members were planning a funeral in Pennsylvania, university officials said.
The University of Chicago, located on the city’s South Side near Lake Michigan, is a private college with more than 5,600 undergraduate student and nearly 10,000 graduate students.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)