Body of Dartmouth Grad Student Found in Connecticut River

( – A missing student has been found dead, according to New Hampshire police. Kexin Cai, 26, was last seen alive riding her electric bicycle toward West Lebanon, New Hampshire on May 15th.

Her body was found in the Connecticut River on Monday, May 20th after a multi-agency search was carried out over the weekend. A fisherman spotted her body in the river and reported it to authorities, who were able to confirm the identity of the Chinese graduate student that day. Her electric bicycle has not been located, but authorities say there is no evidence of foul play in Cai’s death at this time.

Kexin Cai was a second-year doctoral student at Dartmouth College, where she was a member of the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department. Dartmouth College is an Ivy League school based in Hanover, New Hampshire. Her doctoral studies focused on communication issues experienced by autistic people.

A message sent to her fellow Dartmouth students after the discovery of her body spoke of her love of skiing, her “sweet personality,” and her talents as a researcher. The Dean of Dartmouth’s Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, John Kull, described Cai as a “gifted and humble” student with such a fondness for cats that she would find a way to include a picture of a cat on every research poster or presentation she made.

The college said that a memorial event would be held for Cai, and thanked the authorities and members of the college who had helped to search for her after she was reported missing on Friday, May 17th. Staff also notified students that the university had resources available to support them.

According to Cai’s partner, Kristian Droste, Cai had recently experienced a “mental health crisis” and as a result, admitted herself to Dartmouth College’s health service for help. The college service had then transferred her to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, which subsequently released her on May 15th, the day of her last confirmed sighting.

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