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Death on campus

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By Alethia Meloncon

Caution (Khai Le)

By Alethia Meloncon

A body was found on Riverside City College Campus by the parking structure across from the Digital Library.

In the early morning of Jan 29 a maintenaince worker discovered the body that was later identified as Larry Dario Villegas.

Villegas’s body was discovered by a groundskeeper who chose to remain anonymous around 5:30 a.m. Campus Police and the Riverside Police Department were on the scene until 8:30a.m.The death was first ruled as unattended by Hank Rosenfeld, Director of Campus Safety and Police Safety, “by definition nobody was around to see what happened,”

Surveillance tapes show Villegas pacing back and forth on the top of the parking structure. He appeared to be intoxicated.

Many on campus were unaware of what had happened when they arrived to class that morning. The campus was in the middle of winter session classes. John Hopkins, ceramics instructor heard many rumors from his students of the death.

“I had no idea what was going on when I got to class, my students told me there was a dead body, but it was only when I got an e-mail for Jim Parson, associate vice chancellor Public Affairs & Institutional Advancement was it then confirmed.” Hopkins said.

The first e-mail from Parson stated “The Riverside Police Department was conducting an investigation following the discovery in the early morning of a body near the parking structure on the north side of the building.” Preliminary information is that the deceased is a middle-aged male. RCCD Police are working with RPD and have cordoned off the area.

Students were asked to please stay clear of the parking structure until further notice and that updates would be given once more information was released to the public.

The second e-mail then went on to state “The Riverside Police Department had completed their onsite investigation and the parking structure was re-opened. It concluded that there was no indication of foul play, and no indication that the individual was associated with the College. No further information was available until the Coroner’s Office concludes its investigation.”

According to the coroner’s report it appears Villegas fell from the landing on the fourth floor.

Villegas was determined to not be associated with the college. The coroner’s press released stated, “victim found in a parking structure by Campus police and the investigation was continuing.”

Cause of death has still not been determined.

The coroner’s office would not give any additional information in regards to the cause of death; however they confirmed that the next of kin has been notified.

Linda Lacy, interim president of RCC, voiced her concern about the death and that it was not a homicide that would have students in fear.

“It’s very unfortunate. It’s not a good way to start the morning. It looks like there were no signs of foul play, which is reassuring to our students,” she said.

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