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Nathan M. Lyman, the chief operating officer of the Ithaca Renting Company, sent an email to tenants last evening announcing that a dead body had been discovered in a Collegetown Center apartment. Cornell University later identified the deceased as Darryl Wu ’18.
Ithaca police have been conducting an investigation of the scene, but Lyman said it did not appear that the victim was the subject of any foul play, adding that death appeared to be natural. He said the deceased was discovered by staff members late yesterday afternoon.
Wu appeared to have been dead for several days, potentially exceeding four, according to Lyman. An autopsy will be conducted but there is no video feed of what transpired in the apartment.
Lyman said the “police and the University” will provide more information about the incident as it becomes available. The Ithaca Police department declined to comment on the ongoing investigation at this time.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in Collegetown Center in my memory,” Lyman said.
In an email to students on Wednesday afternoon, Dean of Arts and Sciences Gretchen Ritter ’83 called Wu — who was a chemistry major — a “talented student” and “a remarkable linguist and mathematician.”
According to Ritter, Wu was on the winning team of the 12th International Linguistics Olympiad during his freshman year.
“Faculty who worked with Darryl described him as both ‘brilliant’ and ‘humble,'” said Ritter in the email. “On behalf of the College of Arts and Sciences, I want to extend my deepest condolences to Darryl’s family, friends, teachers, and fellow students.”
The full email sent from the Ithaca Renting Company to its tenants has been obtained by The Sun and is copied below.
To members of the Ithaca Renting family:
We are deeply saddened to learn this afternoon of the untimely death of one of the residents of Collegetown Center. We have been told that it appears that the deceased was not a subject of foul play. The police are present, conducting an investigation and waiting for the medical examiner to arrive. While many of you may be curious about the situation, we would ask your understanding and patience while they perform their tasks.
Should any of you need counseling or emotional assistance, we have been in contact with Cornell, and resources are currently present on the first floor of the building/front entrance area, you may call Gannett to reach an on call counselor at 607-255-5155 this evening, or walk in assistance will be available in the morning.
The police and university will provide more information at a later time when appropriate. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased, staff members who discovered the body, and all of you touched by this tragedy.
Sincerely, Nathan M. Lyman, COO
Ithaca Renting Company
University Resources: Members of the Cornell community seeking support can called Gannett Health Services’ Counseling and Psychological Services (607-255-5155), EARS peer counseling (607-255-3277), the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (607-255-2673), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or find additional resources at caringcommunity.cornell.edu.