University Discovers Student Dead in Dorm for 8 Weeks

New Zealand's education minister has called for an investigation
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2019 11:38 AM CDT
A security guard keeps watch outside student accommodation at Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019.   (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
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(Newser) – A male college student who was found dead in his New Zealand dorm room Monday night is thought to have been dead for nearly 8 weeks before being discovered. The Guardian reports students at the Sonoda dorm at the University of Canterbury outside Christchurch contacted police after detecting an odor. The room was reportedly located at the end of a corridor. Stuff.co.nz reports that due to the amount of time that had transpired, a disaster victim identification team had to respond to the scene; it uses fingerprints, DNA, and dental records to arrive at an identification. The first-year student has not been named, nor has a cause of death been given.

The AP reports Education Minister Chris Hipkins has called for an investigation. "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. And I think clearly that's not been present in this case," said Hipkins. Stuff reports the residence hall has 108 beds, and costs about $1,000 a month to reside in. University Vice Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey said in a statement that it was "inconceivable to imagine how these circumstances could have occurred." (Read more New Zealand stories.)

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