- (Photo: Facebook/Peter Russell)
A 21-year-old former track star was found dead in a Columbia University dorm on Sunday. Jessica Fingers was found on the floor of her friend's room around 12:00 p.m. yesterday, and police are investigating whether her death was due to an accidental overdose.
Fingers was reportedly found unconscious and face-up on the floor of a Columbia dorm room. Her boyfriend, Peter Russell, was the first to find her and call paramedics. She was already dead, though, and now police are investigating the situation. They believe she overdosed on some drug, though they have not named any specific drug.
"I woke up and the love of my life was dead next to me," Peter Russell wrote on his Facebook page. "My life is over… She's gone so I have nothing to live for."
Fingers reportedly suffered from blood clots and had recovered from a stroke, the Daily News reported. She was on leave from Columbia, and was visiting Russell when she died. Police have noted that a message posted on Fingers' Facebook page may provide insight into her lifestyle and possible drug use.
"My brain blood clots dissolved! I care about my body so much and yet I was treating it so bad," Fingers posted.
"It is with deep sadness and regret that I write to inform you of the untimely loss of one of our students, who has been on leave from Columbia but visiting campus at the time of her passing," Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger said in a campus email.
Fingers was a high school track star who was recruited to Columbia's varsity track-and-field team. She received a full scholarship and had a promising future, despite her struggle with blood clots. Her stepfather told the Daily News that his daughter had been cleared to return to school.
"She loved Columbia. It was her dream school," Robert Bellamy said.
An autopsy and toxicology report will provide further information as to the cause of death.