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Body of missing Princeton University student found by facilities employee

Misrach Ewunetie

Authorities located the body of missing Princeton University student Misrach Ewunetie at about 1 p.m. Thursday, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office announced.

Ewunetie’s body was found outside on the facilities grounds behind the tennis courts by a facilities employee, officials said.

An autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine Ewunetie’s cause and manner of death. Officials said there were “no obvious signs of injury and her death does not appear suspicious or criminal in nature.”

A suitemate last saw Ewunetie brushing her teeth before bed at about 3 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14. She had just returned to her dorm room at Scully Hall after volunteering at a party at her eating club, Terrace Club. She was supposed to take her citizenship test on Saturday, Oct. 15, but never showed up. Her roommate came into their room at about 4:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, about an hour and a half after Ewunetie was last seen by other suitemates, and she was not there. Ewunetie’s oldest brother tracked her cellphone to a location near Washington Road in the Penns Neck section of West Windsor in the early morning of Sunday, Oct. 16. Her cell phone and other belongings were found with her body on Thursday.

Princeton University Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun issued a statement on Thursday afternoon about Ewunetie’s death.

“It is with great sadness that we share heartbreaking news about the death of Misrach Ewunetie ’24,” Calhoun wrote. “Since Misrach was reported missing on Sunday, the Department of Public Safety has been working closely with local and state law enforcement and does not believe there is any related threat to campus or the surrounding area,” Calhoun wrote.

“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. We are planning an opportunity for students to join together and remember Misrach. Information about the gathering will be shared separately when details are known,” Calhoun wrote. “We know this is an upsetting time for our community, especially Misrach’s fellow students. There are many people and resources on campus that are here for you. Princeton is a close-knit community, and we mourn Misrach together. My thoughts are with you all.”

Students who need counseling should call Princeton University Counseling and Psychological Services at 609-258-3141 during business hours. After hours, contact the counselor on call the main number 609-258-3141 and press 2 to speak with the counselor on call.

Faculty and staff have been referred to Carebridge, which offers free, in-person counseling at the Employee Wellness Center at 350 Alexander Street on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Parking is available onsite. Schedule your appointment online or call 800-437-0911 for 24/7 support. 

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri expressed his deepest condolences to Ms. Ewunetie’s family and the Princeton campus community. Onofri also thanked the many agencies who provided assistance and resources this week, including the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Princeton University Department of Public Safety, the Princeton Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey State Park Police, the West Windsor Township Police Department, the Hamilton Police Division, the Lawrence Township Police Department, the Princeton Fire Department, the West Windsor Fire Department, the Princeton First Aid Squad and the Trenton Fire Department Dive Team.


  1. So, this entire time her body was ON CAMPUS? They conducted/have been conducting “thorough” searches, increased police activity, etc. and missed her body, right there on campus? I’m genuinely asking, I mean, is the tennis courts not on campus?

      1. https://planetprinceton.com/2022/10/20/body-of-missing-princeton-university-student-found-by-facilities-employee/

        Read this article. Especially last paragraph that reviews how many organizations and agencies and students looked for her for almost a week. AND NOT ONE PERSON THOROUGHLY COVERED TENNIS COURT AREA? Then one day her body appears? This in combination with her brother pinging her phone at Penn’s Neck?
        And this is not suspicious? I don’t think it could be any more suspicious than this.

    1. It was fall break this week. There are very few students on campus. Also, the tennis courts (and most of the sports fields) are not in a high-traffic part of campus. Also, behind the tennis courts is not a route people take to many places. If you’re walking from the main campus, the tennis courts are at the outer edge. No destination beyond that besides the lake and if you’re a jogger the tow path beyond that.

    2. I absolutely agree with you. It boggles the mind. I understand students are on break at this time but so much appears left to be explained (cause and manner of death, for starters)..

  2. Hard to believe there was no foul play. How could they have missed her after all this time? I think there are a lot of details that need to be filled in. May she rest In peace.

    1. The prosecutor’s office did not give any other details so far. Not sure how long it will take for the medical examiner to issue findings about the time of death, the manner of death, whether she died where the body was found, etc. Very sad for her family and all who knew her.

    2. I agree, I bet we’ll find out after the autopsy reports. Maybe Princeton is sayin no foul play so they dont alarm any one. I hope her family do an independent autopsy, If the family was left in the dark during her time missing (according to her brother) I wouldnt trust any but my own paid for autopsy report.

  3. C’mon man; we got this under control. Nothing to see here. Go home.
    Nothing unusual for an upstanding immigrant that had a future ready to become an upstanding US citizen and then she’s found dead. And her phone pinged a couple miles south of Princeton in West Windsor (and one media outlet said it pinged North of Princeton in Montgomery). Don’t worry, you have the Princeton Univ. feel good security and Princeton Po “investigating” and the FBI is “ready and waiting.” Nothing to see here folks, go home.

  4. No one asks the obvious, she was seen in her dorm, brushing her teeth, then she ends up by tennis courts dead? The university asks construction and facilities workers to help with looking for her, but don’t ask the Princeton Police Dept.? PU has detectives(?) who are questioning everyone she came in contact with on Fri. @ the eating club event?
    Is the University paying for her parents and family to come up here?
    And if this was PU’s President’s daughter, would she have been found sooner?

  5. They sent construction workers and others out to search only after her family was on tv and put pressure on. I hope there is a complete investigation. The university public safety usually doesn’t have to deal with these situations, and clearly, they were/are in over their heads. I hope the family demands a full and thorough investigation and answers, and that someone else is doing the investigating. The university, I’m sure, would just like to see this go away. Something just doesn’t add up. A student who volunteers to work a shift at a party and comes home then brushes her teeth. Was she getting ready to go meet someone outside? What do the authorities know that they aren’t making public? Also interesting is how we residents were kept in the dark about her missing or why the helicopters where circling the area. No alerts to us, just the campus. If it weren’t for the local media, we would have been totally in the dark about this.

  6. According to the news they found her cell phone. I’m sure that will lead to a lot of Clues as to the last people she contacted, or who contacted her. That might shed a lot of light on the mystery of what happened

  7. I live near the lake and can confirm that the university’s public safety department was working hard along with the town and county police to find her. They were using a helicopter, drones, boats, fire truck, and personnel to search along, near, and in Lake Carnegie because bloodhounds tracked her scent from her dorm to the lake. Her brother had also tracked her last cellphone location ping to the Penn’s Neck area near Washington Road (which is also near the lake). It turns out these leads led them to comb the wrong area. Can’t say if she walked back from the lake area to campus herself, or was brought back there, or if the cell phone location data was slightly off (wrong side of Faculty Road). In any case, it is very tragic that a bright young person’s life was cut short. My heart felt condolences to her family and friends.

    1. Her body was moved obviously. University has a potential serial killer lurking on its dark unsecured campus.

  8. I am not terribly surprised the body wasn’t found quickly. Jimmy Hoffa’s body hasn’t been found because no one knows where to look. I suggest you use Google Maps street view and follow Faculty Road west from Washington Rd. You can see there is a path through the woods on the right. It joins a path between the tennis courts and field hockey field leading toward Scully Hall. I can imagine she may have been following that path, but I don’t know where she was found. Given that she may have been deathly ill, her body may have been more difficult to find. Again, check Google Street View.

    I didn’t find this was hidden at all. I saw an alert fairly early, certainly before I saw the news teams on Washington Rd. “Missing student” is not even enough to bring you to Princeton student as missing student may not be as unusual as you might think. I’d give them some latitude.

  9. Isn’t this the forth campus death within two weeks? I hope the university is prioritizing this tragically along with the others. My condolences to the family.

    1. TERRIBLE! Things don’t jive here. Preliminarily sounds like another Ivy League level F-up. But Princeton wouldn’t be alone as other universities as well as some entire law enforcement agencies (won’t even mention worlclass SPINELESS sh!÷shows in Uvalde, and Parkland) seem to have atrocious procedures for rapid action an; in this case for quickly finding students (some of whom could have been saved if found quicker, but weren’t, so they succumb bleeding out due to falls, accidents, or other injuries or poisons (i.e. drug/alcohol overdose that are most often unintentional). Most don’t even fathom getting into trouble but someone (dealer, person at the party, etc.. spikes/taints their drink, vape, weed etc…). Then they wander off and are incapacitated for hours to days and die because they’re not found in time. What’s worse is some are found or noticed by roommates, “friends” (meaning fake-friends), or strangers who don’t do the only right thing that there is to do (immediately get help (911) = you’ll never be wrong or get into trouble) cause they assume they just need to sleep it off or fear getting into trouble.

  10. Above it’s said “her cell phone and other belongings were found with her body.”

    Geeze. This truly heartbreaking mystery’s in PRESSING need of accelerated autopsy report.

  11. I hate to say it, but this screams suicide. Full scholarship kid who puts herself under immense pressure and is about to have her US citizenship takes midterms and fears they didn’t go well. Or she may even have some of her grades and knows they doesn’t go well. Maybe she has already been experiencing mental health challenges, and feels she can’t take it any longer. Mental health services on campus are horribly lacking and students are suffering…two students died within a few days of each other earlier this year. One was a confirmed suicide, the other everyone assumes also was but I don’t think the family wanted cause of death to be public.

    An unfortunate side note. I’m a Princeton alum and Terrace Club is notorious for being one of the most permissive places on campus when it comes to party drug use. Given everything we know about her she sure doesn’t seem like the kind of student who would be into that stuff because the kids on full rides know they have a lot to lose (the rich prep school kids not so much). But if anything unusual comes up in a toxicology report Princeton is going to have a lot of questions to answer about campus party culture.

    1. But the anonymous source says there was no foul play. And you know what the media says the anonymous source says is always the honest truth!

  12. The university’s interest number 1 is transparency of the true facts and not their reputation. I would not want my kid on that campus.

  13. I was so hoping that they would find this young woman alive, the news of her demise and likely suicide is so incredibly sad.
    In related news, 2 Princeton undergrads committed suicide in May of this year (within one week of each other); one was found near Lake Carnegie and the other one “died of mental illness” (as reported in The Daily Princetonian) at his home in Chicago. What a curious wording, “died of mental illness,” for suicide. Also, a Princeton staff member, supervisor of the custodial service, committed suicide in September of this year. She died on the Princeton campus. I have not been able to find out how they committed suicide, by poisoning, gun, drowning, stab wounds, etc.?

    1. Jersey Joe, it tells you how poorly educated we are, thanks to Pharma, and the whole healthcare system, that we have so many suicides (including very high numbers in the military). Every death by suicide is a psychological problem, not an illness. And we know how to manage the devastating impulsivity, and patterns of negative thinking that lead to death. That’s the second real tragedy here. We know that trickle down economics doesn’t ever trickle down, but what does trickle down is the chaos, antisemitism and racism caused by Donald Trump and the Republican Party, and many inept politicians who have caused enormous damage to our children and future generations. The pandemic is a case in point, continuing to cause great anxiety. Instead of a President who unified the country and took his lead from Churchill, during their great catastrophe, Trump and his enablers took their lead from Hitler, Bolsonaro, Orban, and caused irreparable damage to the mental health of everyone in this country, whether you realize it or not.

      1. Princeton is so politically powerful they stopped the completion of I95. They are perfectly capable of covering this up. Walking around campus Saturday, no reaction to this anywhere.

        1. It was the residents of Hopewell Township who killed the completion of 195. They were the most vocal opponents. Residents of Montgomery and Princeton also opposed it but Hopewell was the biggest opponent.

  14. Many theories. Sleuthing based on bias and assumptions and axes to grind. We naturally scramble to make sense of these sorts of tragedies, but perhaps it’d be better to withhold judgment until more is learned. My heart goes out to this woman’s family and friends for what must be an incredibly painful loss.

  15. Could someone kindly explain PRECISELY where the body lay?
    exact spot

    I walked the area very carefully.

    Was it found in the gated Facilities area where equipment is stored OR just outside it? & where

    I can tell you it was not found at tennis courts area.

    I was there where the media was on Thursday on Faculty Rd. There wasn’t one damn person at the tennis courts. Zero. I took a video. Not even a public safety car.

    The area the media filmed is not secluded, pleazzze

    … It’s landscaped and with a few trees around a path ????

    would like to know exact spot ….

    Thank you

  16. If the family thinks they are going to get access to Princetons records from the last 10 days that make reference to her, they will be deeply disappointed.

  17. Please excuse the digression, however it is related to suicide. Peter Brock Putnam, (Princeton ’42, GS ’50) attempted suicide in his senior year at Princeton (he shot himself at his home, not PU). He failed and as a result of his botched attempt (by gun) he was blinded for life. In spite of his grievous injury, he returned to PU to complete his undergraduate degree and later went to acquire his MA and PHD. Putnam used a seeing eye dog to get around the campus and to attend his classes.
    More from The Princeton Alumni Weekly: quote – After earning his MA and PhD from Princeton, he was an instructor in the history department for four years. Devoting full time to his writing, he published six books, as well as many autobiographical articles. After spending 1965-67 in Boston, as v.p. development for the Unitarian Universalist Assn. of North America, he returned to Princeton. He founded the Princeton Memorial Assn., the first funeral society in New Jersey. He was a lifetime director and president of Recording for the Blind, Inc., and on the boards of Triangle Club, Alumni Council, and the Seeing Eye, Inc., and was trustee and president of the Chapin School. End quote
    Putnam had to fight to get back into PU after is failed attempt at suicide, as the administration was leery about having a blind student roaming around the campus and with the “stain” of attempted suicide on his record; things were much different in those days.

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