[Fox News] Missing Dartmouth College student found dead in Connecticut River, her bike in woods

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Kexin Cai, a missing Dartmouth College student, was found dead Monday in the Connecticut River, several days since she was last seen. 

Around 4 p.m. Monday, a fisherman “alerted authorities to a sighting” along the river in Windsor, Vermont. Authorities were dispatched to the area, where they retrieved a body from the water that was later identified as Cai.

Police said their preliminary investigation suggests no foul play.

The Lebabon Police Department was notified on May 17 that the Dartmouth doctoral student, 26, had been missing since May 15, and authorities issued a missing persons report.

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The reporting party told the LPD that Cai was last seen leaving her residence in an unknown direction on an e-bike on the afternoon of May 15, a Wednesday.

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The Police Department quickly deployed personnel to search the area. An extensive investigation and search continued throughout the weekend into Monday,” LPD said in a press release at the time.

Two local businesses had surveillance video footage showing Cai leaving on her e-bike around 6 p.m. that Wednesday and heading south on NH RT 10 toward West Lebanon. A “passing motorist” spotted her e-bike at the Boston Lot Conservation Area on May 20, police said.

Local law enforcement agencies, along with Dartmouth Safety and Security, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, good Samaritans and others joined the intensive search for Cai around the Boston Lot and Wilder Dam areas in the days following her disappearance. 

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Cai, a Chinese native, reportedly admitted herself to the campus medical clinic prior to her disappearance because she was experiencing a mental health crisis.

“She was a second-year doctoral student in psychological and brain sciences with a special interest in communication challenges in autism,” Jon Kull, dean of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, wrote in a Monday statement.

“According to her adviser, Kexin was an exceptionally gifted and humble researcher with a genuinely sweet personality. She loved cats so much that she would sneak images of them into every poster or presentation. Kexin loved the Upper Valley. Here, she discovered the joys of hiking, skiing, and road trips,” Kull wrote.

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