Police: Washington College student found dead in Pennsylvania

Police: Washington College student found dead in Pennsylvania
Jacob Marberger, the Washington College student sought by police for the past week, was found dead in Pennsylvania on Saturday, police said. (Baltimore Sun)

Jacob Marberger, the Washington College student sought by police for the past week, has been found dead, the Chestertown Police Department said Saturday.

Authorities found Marberger on Saturday near Hamburg, Pa., the Chestertown police said. The discovery brings to close an intensive search, during which Washington College officials closed the Eastern Shore campus after learning that Marberger might have taken a gun from his Pennsylvania home.


"My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends," said Chestertown police Chief G. Adrian Baker. "Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding at this difficult time."

The investigation will be conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police, Baker said. Marberger's family declined to comment Saturday evening.

Marberger died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Pennsylvania State Police said Saturday. Officers found his body in the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Albany Township about 2:51 p.m., near the green Land Rover that he had been reported to be driving, police said. No other information was released.

The 19-year-old was not suspected of wrongdoing, but officers with the Cheltenham Township Police Department in Pennsylvania said Marberger's parents told them he was "despondent over recent issues at college." According to police, the parents said their son had arrived at their home about 3 a.m. Monday while they were sleeping and removed a rifle case. The parents were not sure if a gun was in the case or not, police said.

Marberger had made no direct threats toward the college or its students, officials said, but the campus was closed through Thanksgiving week as a precautionary measure. He had not been seen since early Monday.

Classes were canceled Monday, and faculty and staff were told not to come to work. Police cars from several agencies were stationed at entrances to the campus. Students were initially told to stay in their dorms but were later allowed to move within their buildings. They were taken to a dining hall in groups, escorted by police, for meals.

The college's website listed Marberger as speaker of the Student Government Association Senate. The Elm student newspaper reported he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Marberger's former school in Pennsylvania, Cheltenham High, was also put on a "precautionary lockout" Monday. Classes at the 1,450-student school proceeded normally indoors, an official said.

Washington College officials extended deep "sympathies to the Marberger family in their time of unimaginable grief." The college planned to have crisis counselors on hand when students return to campus.

"This is a terrible blow to our community, and the outpouring of compassion and support we have shown each other will help us through this difficult time," the statement from the college said. "We need to continue to be supportive of each other as we mourn individually and as a community."

As of 8 p.m. Saturday, no decision had been made to resume classes before Nov. 30, said Michael O'Connor, associate vice president for college relations and marketing.