Nick Garza’s Body Found in Creek
Sarah Franco ’08 writes: “It’s 9:19 p.m. here. I just came out of the Marquis and there are bright lights and fire trucks and ambulances and state police by the Creek. I think they just found Nick.”
President of the College Ron Liebowitz confirmed with an all school email at 9:51PM (and also on the Middlebury website): “With sadness, I write to inform you that the Middlebury Police Department, assisted by the Vermont State Police, tonight has recovered the body they believe to be Nicholas Garza….May the unity that comes from the terrible sadness we all feel at this time be a source of comfort and strength for the Garza family.”
Anonymously on MiddleburyConfessional at 9:55PM: “Tom Scanlon was testing water temperatures at the base of the Otter Creek falls in downtown Middlebury under the bridge. He saw something of interest and passed on the tip to MPD. Dozens of rescue teams and law enforcement officials reported to the scene around 8:40pm and discovered a body with a wallet in its pants that contained Nick Garza’s identification. They believe the body is that of Nick Garza.”
On the family website (http://www.nicholasgarza.org): “On May 27, 2008 our beautiful Nicholas was recovered from Otter Creek. We are filled with unspeakable grief and sadness with the loss of our beloved boy. We thank everyone for their prayers and support.”
I was hoping to write my first post back at MiddBlog as a retrospective look at the 2007-2008 school year and the over 270 posts that Sarah Franco ’08 inked this year. Many of Sarah’s posts were dedicated to the search for Nick, and his disappearance was certainly difficult to bear for the Middlebury community. This evening’s events brings much-needed closure to many. I send my deepest condolences to the Garza family. The Middlebury community stands with you during this difficult time.
News will be updated here as it comes in. All are welcome to leave remembrance messages in the comments, as they will be passed on to the Garza family.
Burlington Free Press: Body found believed to be Garza and BFP Photos
WCAX Burlington: Police Believe They Have Found Nick Garza
WPTZ.com: Police Tentatively Confirm Garza Body Found
FOXNews.com / Associated Press:
Body Found in Vt. Creek Believed to Be Missing Middlebury College Student
Update, 5/28 9:45 a.m.: Natalie Garza has issued a statement: “Nicholas had a wit that was quick smart and sure, but moreover, humble. He cherished his family, especially his younger brother Damon. He was a serious young man; his integrity and perception of life were beyond his short years. Grace to him was given from birth, as was his love of literature, music, and philosophy. We will miss his thick black hair and easy laughter. Nothing in life has prepared us for such a loss. We hope to honor him in the simple and pure way that he lived his life. He was adored, deeply loved, and those who knew him were blessed with an extraordinary man. Thank-you to the thousands of letters, e-mails and prayers.”
Update, 5/28 4:00 p.m.: Latest from Burlington Free Press, Body found believed to be Middlebury student; police recount discovery. Also: MPD expects to hold a new conference some time this afternoon concerning the preliminary results from the autopsy.
Update, 5/28 8:45 p.m.: Preliminary results from the Medical Examiner’s autopsy do not reveal any evidence of foul play. The Medical Examiner was able to positively identify the body found in Otter Creek as Nick Garza via dental records. The Medical Examiner is still awaiting the results from the toxicology tests. The Burlington Free Press has more details, including MPD’s theory on how Nick Garza ended up in the Otter Creek. As Chief Hanley notes, the remaining question to answer is, “Why?”
(Sarah F. also contributed to writing and researching this article)