MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Authorities say the body Winona State student missing since Oct. 7 was found Tuesday morning in the Mississippi River.
Chukwudi Benjamin Onyeaghala, 19 of White Bear Lake, was reported missing after 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9. He was last seen on video walking east on Mark Street near the Winona State library just before 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7.
The Winona County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Mississippi River Tuesday morning after a resident just southeast of Winona reported seeing a body in the river. Dive teams responded and located the body, which is believed to be Onyeaghala. The body was taken for an official identification as well as an autopsy to determine a cause of death.
He enrolled at Winona State in the fall of 2015 and was studying Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences: Movement Science. The school released a statement on the matter Tuesday.
“I ask all members of the Winona State University community to keep Ben’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” Denise McDowell, the vice president for enrollment managing and student life, said. “During this difficult time, gently connect with those among us who may be struggling with acceptance and understanding. May we find peace and the strength to endure as we remember Ben’s life and the good times shared.”
Counseling and support services will be available on campus.