Parents on Freshman's Death: 'No One Has Said Anything'

Cornell's Antonio Tsialas found dead after leaving frat party
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2019 10:00 AM CST
Explain Cornell Freshman's Death in Gorge, Get $10K
Antonio Tsialas.   (Cornell University Police Department)

The full-page ad in Cornell's student newspaper offers a $10,000 reward—and a plea: Tell us how and why our son died. Freshman Antonio Tsialas, 18, was found dead in a gorge in Ithaca, NY, where a river plunges more than 150 feet over rock cliffs, on Oct. 26, two days after he was seen leaving a fraternity party. It was parents weekend at the university, but Tsialas—who dined with his mother the previous evening—said he'd be busy with a project that Thursday. Flavia Tomasello and John Tsialas of Florida, who later found the project open on Tsialas' computer, believe someone invited him to Phi Kappa Psi. As Tomasello tells NBC News, "he was not the type to be going out by himself." "It's just very baffling, confusing," adds John Tsialas. "No one has said anything."

Cornell police continue to investigate—an autopsy is pending, per CNN—but say no foul play is suspected. "Over 150 leads have been received and are being followed up on, which include numerous personal interviews," says Police Chief Dave Honan, per NBC. Tsialas' parents have hired private investigators, but they hope the ad in Monday and Tuesday's issues of the Cornell Daily Sun, offering $10,000 to "the first person to call with verifiable information about how and why Antonio died," will encourage students to speak up. "We as parents deserve the truth and the community needs to know," Tomasello tells NBC. John Tsialas adds: "We want the story to come out so that this doesn't happen to someone else." Per the Ithaca Journal, information can be shared anonymously by texting or calling 607-280-5102. (More Cornell University stories.)

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