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Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2001

Foul play ruled out in death of student

May 10, 2001

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Foul play was ruled out in the death of a Kansas University junior who was found Wednesday afternoon at Ellsworth Residence Hall.

Two people found the body of Manish Prasad, 21, in his room. The cause of Prasad's death wasn't released, but authorities had ruled out the possibility that he was killed by someone else, authorities said.

A week of final examinations began Wednesday at KU.

Prasad, a computer engineering major from Overland Park, was last seen alive Monday night when he spent time with friends. The two people who found Prasad a friend and an Ellsworth resident assistant had become concerned about him after not seeing him Tuesday or Wednesday morning, said Todd Cohen, KU spokesman.

The friend asked an RA to accompany him to Prasad's room, where they heard music. They knocked, and when they didn't receive an answer, they entered the room.

They called police about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Cohen said. Police radio traffic at that time indicated that emergency personnel responded to Ellsworth Hall, 1734 Engel Road, on reports that someone had been shot.

KU police wouldn't comment about the details of Prasad's death. Additional details likely will be released today.

At a 6 p.m. Wednesday meeting at Ellsworth Hall, KU police and counselors spoke to about 150 students who gathered in the main lobby. Ralph Oliver, director of KU's department of public safety, and Frank DeSalvo, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, told students about the incident and how to cope.

Oliver reassured students that no one other than Prasad had been involved in his death. Police weren't looking for a suspect and weren't searching rooms at Ellsworth, he said.

Prasad, who didn't have a roommate, apparently died sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Tuesday, Oliver said. That information was learned through another student, but Oliver didn't elaborate.

DeSalvo encouraged students to talk to a counselor four were available Wednesday evening at Ellsworth if they thought they needed help with their grief.

"There's no wrong reaction to a situation like this," DeSalvo said. "Try to be understanding with each other, try to be supportive of each other. You don't have to struggle with this alone. Humans typically have trouble dealing with death, so give yourself permission to have those feelings."

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