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College Student Found Dead In Dorm Room Went Unnoticed For Two Months

New Zealand's University of Canterbury is in mourning and shock after the discovery of a student's body in his dorm room two months after he died.

According to local media outlet Stuff, the young man was only found after students in the dorm reported an odd stench in the halls.

Investigators have yet to publicly identify the victim, nor have they determined a cause of death.

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The student's body had decayed so much that police called in a disaster victim identification team to process the scene, taking fingerprints, DNA, and dental impressions to confirm an identity.

However, Stuff also reported that the student's father had also contacted police after becoming concerned about his son.

The student's father had first called friends with his concerns before contacting the authorities.

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Friends told the media that the student was a "good and confident guy" who had been known to "go off the grid for a week or so."

Despite that, an investigation is looking into how the student's remains could have gone unnoticed for so long.

New Zealand's Education Minister, Chris Hipkins, said he's "really concerned about this case."

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"If you're going into a hall of residence or a hostel, you are paying top dollar for not just a roof over your head but also the pastoral care that goes with that," he told The Associated Press. "And I think clearly that's not been present in this case."

The university's vice-chancellor called it "inconceivable to imagine how these circumstances could have occurred."

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Cheryl de la Ray added that the university had "comprehensive pastoral care programs in place."

However, students in the university's dorms disputed that, telling Stuff that they seldom see their residential assistants.

"We have no idea who is running this place, there is an overwhelming lack of presence from adult staff in this hall," one student said.

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"If a student was in crisis the hall of residence would have no idea...we could disappear for weeks and it would go unnoticed by staff here."

The same student said that many only saw their RAs in passing once a week.

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And communication largely went through a Facebook group, where most of the posts dealt with maintenance issues. A former student added that residents in the dorm were left largely independent, saying "You could really fly under the radar there."

In light of such concerns, the dorm's management, Campus Living Villages (CLV), has come under scrutiny.

CLV's managing director, John Schroder, said that since the discovery of the student's body, questions of "how did we miss him" and "why did it take so long" have plagued him.

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"Our priority is and always will be the wellbeing of our students and staff," he told the Otago Daily Times. "At all times we try to balance the wishes and rights of young adults with our role in providing a supportive environment."

He added that the student was not considered a "student of concern" who would normally receive increased welfare checks.

h/t: Stuff, Associated Press, Otago Daily Times