Student missing after party found dead: Missing Boston College student found dead in creek after 42-hour search

Posted by Rebecca Orbach

The deceased body of 19-year-old Alexander Grant of Briarcliff, NY was found in Putnam Creek in Saratoga Springs at around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning

The creek is three-tenths of a mile from where Grant was last seen on a surveillance video breaking into a medical facility at 3 Care Lane at about 1:15 a.m on Sunday, March 6.

Grant, a sophomore from Boston College, was visiting Skidmore for the weekend and staying with his friend from high school, Mike Perlow '13.

On Saturday night Grant attended two separate parties at 146 and 150 Church St.

Both residences are located about one mile from campus and police reports said there were several hundred people between the two parties.

Neighbor Brandon Scheidt, 25, said he called the police at 11 p.m. to report the rowdiness and three partygoers he watched urinate on his driveway, according to Shawn Cohen of The Journal News, White Plains, NY.

The police responded shortly after midnight, when the local noise ordinance begins, and forced partygoers to leave the Church Street parties.

Police reports say that Grant left the party at some time between 11:30 p.m. and midnight. It is believed he left the party on his own accord; no one saw Grant for the rest of that night.

Early Sunday afternoon, police investigated a break in at a medical facility at 3 Care Lane and discovered a security video that showed Grant, wearing only shorts, a long-sleeve T-shirt and one sock, breaking in shortly after 1:15 a.m. and leaving about an hour later.

At about 5 p.m., while the burglary investigation was still underway, three individuals entered SSPD to report their friend, Grant, was missing. The description they provided of Grant matched the man in the surveillance video and the friends were able to confirm that the person seen in the video was Grant.

After this confirmation SSPD expanded the search and found his pants, a second sock and his identification about 100 yards from the medical building.

Police think he injured himself while breaking into the medical facility. He kicked in a window and officers found blood inside the building and on the broken glass of the window.

Nothing was stolen, he did not enter any of the offices and police speculate he went inside to get warm.

On Sunday, searchers noticed footprints in the snow, but the snow began to fall so quickly on Sunday evening that the tracks were soon covered up.

Searches continued unsuccessfully on Monday with the use of thermal imaging equipment until sunset.

On Tuesday morning, using underwater probing equipment, a search team of Saratoga Springs City Firefighters and New York State Forest Rangers located Grant's body tangled in the underbrush beneath the surface of the water.

He was located in a sharp bend of the creek in about four feet of water. Grant's body was then transported to Albany Medical Center for an autopsy.

The Saratoga Springs Police Department said they believe Grant had been drinking at the parties, but it is too soon to tell whether the alcohol contributed to his death. As of press time on Wednesday a preliminary autopsy conducted at Albany Medical Center confirmed Grant drowned in the creek, and he was suffering from hypothermia before he died.

"It seems to me that SSPD has ruled out foul play. They looked at a videotape at 3 Care Lane that indicates that he was alone and acting very strangely. He appeared to be intoxicated, removing clothing and breaking the glass at the medical center," Jim Murphy, District Attorney of Saratoga County said.

The homeowners at both Church Street residences are Saratoga Springs residents. They will be investigated, Murphy said.

"I know the people who rent the apartment have all had their lawyers contact SSPD… and indicated that they are willing to cooperate, so these meetings are being set up currently," Murphy said.

The Boston College community was disturbed and upset to hear the news about Grant, who was an economics major and a member of the College of Arts & Science Honors Program.

"By all accounts, Alex was a very bright young man… He was popular with his classmates and loved music and time with his friends. The BC community is in mourning and we ask all of our students to pray for Alex and his family during this most difficult time," Jack Dunn, the college's spokesman said.

In a campus-wide e-mail sent on March 9, Skidmore's Acting President Susan Kress described Grant's death as "a grievous loss for two campus communities."

"Our hearts go out to Mr. Grant's family and friends and to the Boston College community," Kress said.

A silent vigil was held at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10 in the Case Center Walkway to commemorate Grant's life and death.

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