Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Body Found in Vermont Creek Believed to Be Nicholas Garza

Article from
A body believed to be that of missing collegian Nicholas Garza was pulled from the Otter Creek on Tuesday, police said. The badly-decomposed body of an unidentified male was found among sunken timber in a floating debris pile below a waterfall as authorities prepared to mount another search this weekend. Searchers were taking temperature readings in the river and performing depth soundings when the remains were found, according to Police Chief Tom Hanley. Click to view photos. "They do appear to be the remains of Nicholas Garza, but identification will be made at an autopsy tomorrow," said Hanley. A wallet found on the body belonged to Garza, police said. "It was Nick," said his mother, Natalie Garza, who was there when the body was removed. She later issued the following statment: "Nicholas had a wit that was quick smart and sure, but moreover, humble. He cherished his family, especially his younger brother Damon. He was a serious young man; his integrity and perception of life were beyond his short years. Grace to him was given from birth, as was his love of literature, music, and philosophy. We will miss his thick black hair and easy laughter. Nothing in life has prepared us for such a loss. We hope to honor him in the simple and pure way that he lived his life. He was adored, deeply loved, and those who knew him were blessed with an extraordinary man. Thank you to the thousands of letters, e-mails, and prayers." Click here to view the family's Web site. Garza, 19, of Albuquerque, N.M., a freshman at Middlebury College, vanished Feb. 5 after leaving Stewart Hall dormitory during a winter break in classes, headed for his dormitory. He was reported missing five days later. More than a half-dozen searches since then by Vermont State Police, search-and-rescue teams from around the region and volunteers organized by his mother turned up nothing. His wallet and cell phone have never been found, even though police found a winter jacket and laptop computer in his dormitory room. Some here believed the melting of snow at winter's end would yield clues or a body, but it didn't, nor did several searches of Otter Creek, including one last month after aerial imaging showed an unidentified object in the water.

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