Boon Jim Lim ’13, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, was found dead in his dorm room early Monday morning. Lim resided in Clara Dickson Hall and was last seen by his neighbors on Thursday. An investigation is continuing into the cause of his death, which appears to be accidental, according to Tony Craddock ’10, the residential advisor on Lim’s hall.
Lim was pronounced dead at 3:55 a.m. on Monday by paramedics from Bangs Ambulance. The paramedics and Cornell University Police responded to Lim’s dorm room after resident advisors discovered his body.
Craddock entered Lim’s room around 3:45 Monday morning after a graduate student who knew Lim’s family told Craddock that no one had heard from Lim in several days. Lim was close with his family, who live in Malaysia, and spoke to them often.
The Cornell University Police Department is investigating Lim’s death with help from the Ithaca Police Department, according to Simeon Moss ’73, director of Cornell Press Relations.
“No foul play is suspected,” Moss said.
The death appears to be accidental, Craddock said. Several residents on Lim’s hall said they did not know of any previous medical conditions that may have contributed to his death.
Residents near Lim’s room first noticed something unusual over the weekend, when a strong odor spread through the hall, said Ilyas Kuzembayev ’13, who lived next door to Lim.
Craddock said he thought the smell was coming from the bathroom. He only discovered it came from Lim’s room when the door was opened Monday morning. Lim’s body was found lying in his bed, where it apparently had been throughout the weekend.
Lim came to Cornell from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He frequently spoke to his family in Malaysia and kept a family picture on his desk, said Oscar Coaquira ’13, who befriended Lim during orientation week.
Cornell notified Lim’s parents of his death on Monday, Moss said.
Residents of Dickson Hall described Lim as a quiet but friendly student.
“He was always quick to ask you how you’re doing. [He was] very enthusiastic about life,” Craddock said.
Hiroshi Hikida ’13, who lived next door to Lim, said Lim was quiet and reserved.
“He was more of the studious type,” Hikida said.
“He always had a really big smile and laughed a lot,” Coaquira said.
Lim’s death came as a shock to those who knew him.
“I don’t think anyone saw this coming,” Hikida said.
“I didn’t want to accept it,” Coaquira said. “I can’t imagine going the rest of the year without seeing Boon Jim and hearing his laugh.”
Students on Lim’s floor attended a meeting with the Dickson residence hall director on Monday night to discuss where they could find emotional support.
The Office of the Dean of Students will plan a community support meeting for people who need support or want someone to talk to about Lim’s death, Moss said. Details about the meeting will be released in the next few days.
A memorial service will also be arranged in conjunction with Lim’s parents, Moss said.