February 25, 2011

Ithaca College Student Found Dead Near School

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The body of Victoria Cheng, a freshman at Ithaca College, was found near 380 Pennsylvania Ave. — close to the college — at about 12:45 p.m. on Saturday.

Tompkins County Sheriff Ken Lansing said alcohol appears to have played a role in Cheng’s death, according to the Associated Press.

There is no evidence of a connection between her death and the death of George Desdunes ’13, whose body was found in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on Friday morning, Lansing said.

There is no indication of foul play in Cheng’s death, according to a statement from Ithaca College, although it is still under investigation.

Several witnesses at the scene on Saturday said they saw Cheng’s body lying in the snow behind a Pennsylvania Avenue house. Police blocked off the easternmost section of the street for several hours Saturday afternoon.

“I know the entire campus community joins me in extending our heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathies to Victoria’s family, friends, professors and classmates at this difficult time,” Brian McAree, vice president for student affairs and campus life at Ithaca College, said in the statement.

Cheng graduated in 2010 from Ithaca High School. She was majoring in biology at Ithaca College.

Friends and classmates of Cheng gathered at Muller Chapel on Sunday afternoon to support one another, according to The Ithaca Journal.

Juan Forrer contributed reporting to this article.

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Original Author: Jeff Stein