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UNH student, 22, found dead in woods after ‘first fist fight ever’ at frat party died from drowning


A 22 year-old student from the University of New Hampshire who was found dead in a wooded area on Sunday died of accidental drowning, according to an autopsy released on Wednesday. 

The body of 22-year-old Vincenzo Lirosi was found close to campus in a marshy area, with cops saying the student’s death is not being treated as suspicious. Those autopsy results were released Wednesday, and Durham Police Chief Rene Kelley said that there was ‘no further information at this time’ that would be released to the public.

Lirosi, who was known as ‘Vinny’ to his friends, had disappeared following a night of drinking at a fraternity party where he had been involved in a fight. 

‘It’s pretty uncharacteristic of him,’ friend Jordan Blanchard told WMUR. ‘This is his first fight ever.’ No further details on the disagreement, including what prompted it and whether it got physical, were shared. 

Vincenzo Lirosi, 22, a University of New Hampshire student who went missing early Saturday morning, was found dead on Sunday afternoon

Lorisi left a frat house close to the University of New Hampshire, pictured left, and his body was found in a marshy area close to Coe Drive, pictured center

Lorisi left a frat house close to the University of New Hampshire, pictured left, and his body was found in a marshy area close to Coe Drive, pictured center 

‘They kicked him out and told him to go home. That’s when he went into the woods.’

University of New Hampshire’s Sigma Chi fraternity said in a statement that Lirosi wasn’t invited to the party, which they said was a ‘welcome home’ event for a member who had just returned from military service. 

‘We are saddened to learn of the death of Vincent Lirosi, an uninvited guest who died after leaving an event held by some members of our chapter,’ the fraternity said. 

‘We are cooperating with authorities as they investigate the circumstances of his death.’ 

The University of New Hampshire has suspended the fraternity as they investigate the fight that preceded the sophomore history major’s death. 

Lirosi located by a New England Search and Rescue K-9 team in a marshy area close to the campus

Lirosi located by a New England Search and Rescue K-9 team in a marshy area close to the campus

Durham police used a K-9 and thermal drone to search woods while New Hampshire State police and Fish and Game using a helicopter to search for him

Durham police used a K-9 and thermal drone to search woods while New Hampshire State police and Fish and Game using a helicopter to search for him

Lirosi had attended a frat party at which he got into a fight and was told to go

 ‘As is common practice when an investigation involved a fraternity, we were in touch with the organization’s national headquarters and collectively agreed to interim suspend the organization effective immediately,’ said the school’s dean of students, Kenneth Blackman.

A vigil was held for Lirosi at the University on Monday, and a GoFundMe fundraiser toward his funeral expenses surpassed $77,000, according to the New York Post.  

Lirosi’s brother, Giovanni, thanked those who attended a Monday vigil. 

‘All of you who were there at the vigil and everyone that have been sending messages and those of you who were silently supporting us we love all of you so much,’ he said on the GoFundMe page. 

The student was last seen walking along a wooden path often used by students at around 1am on Saturday. The route was a well-known shortcut that he would take to reach his home. He was reported missing two hours later at around 3am.

‘We started to think how he would think, and we started walking through the woods on different trails,’ Blanchard explained. ‘We walked all the way to Jackson’s Landing to see if he was over there, and we could not find anything.’ 

Vincenzo 'Vinny' Lirosi, left, is seen in Facebook photos posted by his mother, Robin Nichols Lirosi. He's seen with her and brother Giovanni 'Gio' Lirosi

Vincenzo ‘Vinny’ Lirosi, left, is seen in Facebook photos posted by his mother, Robin Nichols Lirosi. He’s seen with her and brother Giovanni ‘Gio’ Lirosi

The body of Lirosi, who was from Whitman, Massachusetts, was found around 1:20pm on Sunday. 

Durham police used a K-9 and thermal drone to search woods while New Hampshire State police and Fish and Game using a helicopter to search for him.

Lirosi’s wallet was found in a parking lot while his cellphone was found at the fraternity house.

‘Though this is not the outcome we all had hoped for, we are grateful that we were able to find Vincenzo and bring some closure to his family, Durham Police Chief Kelley said.  

'Though this is not the outcome we all had hoped for, we are grateful that we were able to find Vincenzo and bring some closure to his family, Durham Police Chief Rene Kelley said.

‘Though this is not the outcome we all had hoped for, we are grateful that we were able to find Vincenzo and bring some closure to his family, Durham Police Chief Rene Kelley said.

Vincenzo 'Vinny' Lirosi, right, was walking back to his residence after 1am with the alarm raised at 3am

Vincenzo ‘Vinny’ Lirosi, right, was walking back to his residence after 1am with the alarm raised at 3am

On Sunday night, the university released a statement to students following the news.

‘It is with very heavy hearts that we write to share that the search for Vincenzo Lirosi did not end as we had hoped. The university student was found in the wooded area off Coe Drive this afternoon. State & local authorities continue to investigate the cause of death but at this time it is not believed to be suspicious.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with Vincenzo’s family & friends. This is a very sad day for our community and right now we are focused on providing the support and resources needed for everyone who knew him or is impacted by his death. We ask all faculty and staff to be considerate of students impacted by this tragedy and offer accommodations for assignments and attendance. 

‘A sudden death brings a range of feelings, especially shock and disbelief. Please take care of yourself and seek help if you need it,’ the university wrote.

The cause and manner of Lirosi's death, right, will be determined after an autopsy although it is not thought to be suspicious

The cause and manner of Lirosi’s death, right, will be determined after an autopsy although it is not thought to be suspicious

On Sunday night, the university released a statement to students following the tragic news

On Sunday night, the university released a statement to students following the tragic news



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