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Missing Princeton University student Misrach Ewunetie found dead, authorities say

Missing Princeton University student Misrach Ewunetie found dead
Missing Princeton University student Misrach Ewunetie found dead 02:10

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The body of Misrach Ewunetie, a 20-year-old Princeton University student who was missing for almost a week, has been found, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday. 

According to officials, Ewunetie's body was found behind tennis courts on campus at around 1 p.m. 

The medical examiner's office has yet to determine her cause of death, but investigators say there were no obvious signs of injury and her death does not appear suspicious.

Police began searching for Ewunetie over the weekend.

The Princeton University junior was last seen alive early Friday morning around a residence hall, and within days, missing posters went up as investigators searched the campus and nearby lake.

"We had a few updates throughout when the student was first reported missing," student Jayden Shirkey told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

"It was just, I mean, shock," student Deepika Bhatnager said.

Ewunetie came to Princeton from Ohio on a full scholarship.

"I would describe her as a sweet soul, like somebody that cares about people," Ewunetie's brother, Universe Ewunetie, said.

As the search carried on, her family came to campus desperately seeking answers.

"Every minute that passes, every second that passes, it's, it's more painful than the last one," Universe Ewunetie said.

Thursday afternoon, a school employee found Misrach Ewunetie's body outside, behind campus tennis courts.

"I'm quite shocked about how I guess they weren't able to find the body for, like, a week," student Tanushre Banerjee said.

"We just all had to process it in our own way," Bhatnager said.

In a message to students, the vice president for campus life said, "Misrach's death is an unthinkable tragedy. Our hearts go out to her family, her friends and the many others who knew and loved her."

Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted in part, "We are heartbroken by the tragic news."

"I've been on edge. It's such a small community. I didn't know them personally, but I very well could have and I think this is gonna have ripples throughout the Princeton scene for sure," Shirkey said.

As police continue to investigate how she died, the university is now planning a memorial. The university is also offering grief counseling for students and staff.

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