ERIE, Pa. -- Police in Pennsylvania have recovered the body of 18-year-old Devon Minor, a student at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, who has been missing nearly five months.
"His body was found in New Brighton, a neighboring jurisdiction," Charles R. Jones, Jr., chief of the Beaver Falls Police Department, told The Huffington Post Thursday. "It was found this morning [in the Beaver River] at the Townshend Dam."
A worker who was doing routine duties spotted Minor’s body floating in the water at the dam. An autopsy on his remains was completed that afternoon.
"The autopsy has revealed the manner of death was drowning, but the cause was suicide," Jones said.
Minor, a freshman at the private Christian college located about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, was last seen on Jan. 20 in the school’s dining hall. A native of Clifton Heights, near Philadelphia, Minor was a 2010 graduate of La Salle College High School. He was majoring in engineering.
Minor reportedly posted a message on his Facebook page prior to his disappearance, saying that he was having a problem and didn’t know how to deal with it. The page was deleted shortly thereafter.
According to Jones, dozens of law enforcement personnel, firefighters and volunteers had conducted multiple ground and aerial searches for Minor, including searches of the Beaver River, which runs alongside the campus. Until recently, however, bad weather hindered those search efforts. Jones said authorities were in the process of planning a 100-man search when they found the body.
Ken Smith, president of Geneva College, issued a brief statement Thursday afternoon.
“We are deeply saddened by Devon’s passing. This is a painful time for Devon’s family, friends, our community and so many others," Smith wrote. "This is obviously not the outcome for which we hoped and prayed. … Now, just as our community came together in response to Devon’s disappearance, I ask that everyone draw together as we mourn the loss of this young student.”