January 4, 2023

Cause of Princeton Student’s Death Released by Medical Examiner

By Anne Levin

Misrach Ewunetie (Princeton University)

The death in October of Princeton University student Misrach Ewunetie was ruled a suicide last week by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The office released a toxicology report on Wednesday, December 28 on the 20-year-old member of the Class of 2024, who was missing for nearly a week before her body was discovered on October 20 near the University’s tennis courts. There was no evidence of foul play, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

“The cause of death was determined to be Buproprion, Escitalopram, and Hydroxyzine Toxicity,” according to a release from the prosecutor’s office. Buproprion and Escitalopram are antidepressants, while Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine.

According to the report, Ewunetie had a clinical history of major depressive and anxiety disorder. At least 59 pills and pill-like fragments were in her system, and empty bottles of two of the drugs were found in her dorm room. Mentions of suicide were found in her journal.

In a statement released to the University community, Rochelle Calhoun, vice president for campus life, said, “Our hearts go to Misrach’s family and friends, and to the wider campus community that has been shaken by this tragedy. Losing a member of our community is always difficult. The long wait for definitive news about what led to her death has been challenging for all of us, and especially for those close to Misrach.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day by dialing or texting 988, or online at 988lifeline.org.

Additional support is available by texting NAMI to 741741.