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Student’s Body Found Decomposed in Chicago Dorm

A 20-year-old University of Chicago student was found dead Saturday in a campus dorm room, police said, and the body may have been there for several days before it was discovered.

Nicholas Barnes, 20, was pronounced dead just before 5 p.m. at the International House at University of Chicago, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

His body was found around 4:15 p.m., authorities said.

According to a statement from the university, sent to students, faculty and staff, Barnes was found in his room and there does not appear to be evidence of foul play.

It is not clear when he died, but the Chicago Tribune reported it had been eight days since he had last used his university key card to enter the residence hall.

An autopsy was conducted Sunday, but the medical examiner's office said the cause of death was pending a toxicology report.

Police did not have further details on the incident but a death investigation is being conducted, officials said.

The Tribune, citing a police report, said a resident in the dorm discovered the body after students reported a foul odor in the hallways of the dorm. The report also states the body was found face down on the floor in a decomposed state.

School officials said Barnes was a third-year student majoring in Germanic Studies.

"It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Nicholas Barnes," wrote Dean of Students Susan Art. "Nick will be painfully missed. He was an excellent student, admired by faculty and peers alike."

According to the statement, Barnes' family is planning a funeral in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he grew up. The school also plans to hold a campus memorial to "remember him and mourn our loss as a community."

The school said it is "making every effort to understand the circumstances surrounding [Barnes'] death."

— NBC Chicago