Missing US Student Found Dead in Spain
The body of a 22 year-old San Diego State University exchange student, who went missing 10 days ago, was recovered from a river in Madrid earlier today.
Austin Bice had been spending a semester abroad in the Spanish capital, studying Business at the Carlos III University, when he was last seen leaving La Riviera nightclub to walk back to his halls of residence after he was denied entry for appearing too intoxicated.
The Manzanares River, where his body was found, is a shallow waterway that runs through western Madrid – only a short distance from the nightclub. The river was drained as part of the search and officials say there is no initial evidence of foul play. An autopsy report is expected March 8 or March 9.
The host family where he was staying raised concerns after Bice did not come down for lunch. They went up to his room and found that he was missing.
“He had left his credit cards and passport in his room, and had not taken a winter coat, so [we were] concerned because it was very cold,” said Maria Garcia, a friend of Brice’s.
After Bice was officially declared missing, Garcia and other friends started to put up posters around the capital, seeking any information. The young students father, Larry Bice, had travelled to Spain last week upon the news of his sons sudden disappearance to help in the search.
He described his son as physically fit and told of the two recently climbing the Mt. Whitney in California together. Brice was, in fact, 6 foot 5 and 290 pounds, an avid footballer player – playing lineman during his freshman year at San Diego State.
Bice, a fluent Spanish speaker, kept a blog throughout his stay in Madrid, touching on topics from Spanish food and homework assignments to the bustling nightlife scene of the city’s capital. The final post on his blog spoke of the concert he and his friends were meant to attend the night he went missing: “Hopefully it will not disappoint (I assume it will not). It’s in Madrid and it should be a fun night.”
Yesterday, at San Diego State University, the students held a candle-lit vigil in honor of Austin Bice. Jayson Nicholson, who helped to arrange the gathering, said, “We just want to come together as a community to show our support for Austin and his family and hope that he comes home safe.”
Unfortunately, the young American student will not be returning back to campus.
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