How did Vincenzo Lirosi die? New Hampshire uni student, 22, found dead after frat party fight
University of New Hampshire student found dead near campus hours after leaving frat party due to a fight, friend says 'pretty uncharacteristic of him'
DURHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE: 22-year-old University of New Hampshire student has been mysteriously found dead on December 5, hours after leaving a frat party due to a fight. The body of Vincenzo Lirosi was discovered by Durham Police in a marshy area just off the university campus in the afternoon of the fifth after he was reported missing earlier that day. So far, there's little we know about what happened, with an autopsy scheduled to determine the case of death.
Lirosi joins a long list of university students who have turned up dead in recent months under mysterious circumstances. On September 4, the body of Jelani Day was found in the Illinois River, over 10 days after he was reported missing. It's one of the most high-profile cases in 2021, especially given that Day's family refuses to buy the conclusion he drowned when he was an accomplished swimmer. The case has also drawn considerable fury as it took police 19 days to identify his remains, leading to accusations of racism given that it took just two days to identify the remains of Gabby Petito.
Lirosi's body, on the other hand, was quickly identified and his family was notified. "Though this is not the outcome we had all 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 in a statement.
What happened to Vincenzo Lirosi?
At the moment, it's unclear what exactly happened to the 22-year-old. According to reports, he was attending a college frat party on December 4 night, where he reportedly got into a fight. "It's pretty uncharacteristic of him, this is his first fight ever," noted Lirosi's former roommate and close friend Jordan Blanchard. He told WMUR-TV, "they kicked him out and told him to go home. That's when he went into the woods."
That occurred around 1.30 am on December 5, and when Lirosi didn't return, he was reported missing at 3.00 am. "We started to think how he would think, and we started walking through the woods on different trails," said Blanchard, but he and some others gave up after they failed to find any trace of him. Durham Police then stepped in and began searching the area with the help of state police, Fish and Game, UNH police, Strafford County Sherriff, New Hampshire State Liquor Enforcement, and New England K-9 Search and Rescue.
The multi-agency effort came to an end at around 1.20 pm in a marshy area off Coe Drive in Durham, where Lirosi's body was found. Beyond confirming the discovery, police have not commented on the condition of the body or surroundings, so there is no way to determine what exactly happened to Lirosi. The university also confirmed the discovery tweeting, "It is with very heavy hearts that we share the search for Vincenzo Lirosi did not end as we had hoped." They added, "Authorities continue to investigate the cause of death but at this time it's not believed suspicious."
It is with very heavy hearts that we share the search for Vincenzo Lirosi did not end as we had hoped. The student was found in the wooded area off Coe Drive this afternoon. Authorities continue to investigate cause of death but at this time it's not believed suspicious (1/5)— University of New Hampshire (@UofNH) December 6, 2021
The university followed that up with a series of tweets promising to share additional information, and announcing help and support for anyone impacted by Lirosi's death. The university also urged students to seek mental health counseling. We'll update you when more details are announced. If you know anything about Lirosi that may help police understand what happened, you are urged to call Durham police at 603-868-2324. Students who need help and support can contact Psychological & Counseling Services at (603) 862-2090.