Report: Body of St. Thomas graduate found in Italian river

Blair John Photo: Office of International Students & Scholars - University of St. Thomas
Blair John

June 06, 2019 08:37 PM

The bodies of a University of St. Thomas graduate and his friend were found in a river in Italy, according to an international report.

The University of St. Thomas Office of International Students & Scholars also confirmed Blair John's death, posting on social media Thursday:


"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Blair John, an alum of St. Thomas and a former student worker in OISS. He was an amazing person, always kind and caring, continued to keep in touch with each of us since he moved to Canada to pursue his PhD program. He was an extremely smart person with such a big heart. We will miss him dearly."

Italian Insider reports their bodies were found in the Po River in Turin, Italy, with John's found days after his friend. They are believed to have been in the river between 24 and 72 hours before they were found, the newspaper reports.

Dr. Rob Summerby-Murray, the President and Vice-Chancellor of Saint Mary's University where John went to pursue his PhD, also posted of his death. He said John joined Saint Mary's in September 2017 and was working on his PhD in Industrial / Organizational Psychology.

"I am saddened to share the news that Blair John, a PhD candidate in Psychology, recently passed away in Turin, Italy," he wrote in his post. He noted John was originally from the Bahamas, and said the university has been in contact with his family to offer support and extend sympathy.

According to Italian Insider's report, authorities don't currently believe John's and his friend's deaths are due to criminal or violent actions by others, but the matter remains under investigation.

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