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September 29. 2013 4:38PM

Body in Portsmouth likely missing UNH student

PORTSMOUTH - University of New Hampshire officials say the body of a man recovered from the Piscataqua River this morning has been preliminarily identified as belonging to a missing college student.

The body, recovered near Prescott Park Sunday at 10:20 a.m., has not been positively identified by police but UNH officials released a statement Sunday afternoon saying a preliminary review suggests the body is Jonathan Zygmont, 19, a first-year student from Windham who lived on campus and was last seen near the park at about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The state medical examiner is expected to make identification in the morning.

"We were greatly saddened to learn that police had recovered what is believed to be the body of our missing student," said UNH President Mark Huddleston. "We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends during this very difficult time, and will continue to offer our support to the campus community and Jon's loved ones."

Police say foul play was never suspected in the student's disappearance, but police were concerned for his well-being. According to police, Zygmont's description as well as that of his clothing and backpack matches that of the recovered body. He was last seen wearing black shoes, khaki pants, and a brown sweatshirt with the word "Burton" on it in red lettering. He was also believed to be carrying a black North Face backpack.

Zygmont's mother, Lynne Zygmont Clay, described her son as an avid and experienced outdoorsman, who had expressed a desire to "go out west and live a more simple life."

Portsmouth and UNH police continue to work cooperatively on the investigation.

School officials have announced that the UNH Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 24-hour help is available for students by calling 862-2090.


pfeely@unionleader.com




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