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IU president issues statement on student deaths

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Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-03 16:57:24-04

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael McRobbie issued a statement Saturday on the deaths of two IU Bloomington students this week.

"The positive energy and excitement associated with the early weeks of a new academic year on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington has been sadly and abruptly shattered this week, as tragedy struck the campus twice in a very public fashion with the untimely deaths of two promising students," he said in a statement.

One student was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide on Wednesday. The body of another student, who was reported missing, was found Friday in a lake north of Bloomington. 

Bloomington Police officers found a 20-year-old man dead from an apparent suicide by hanging and a 21-year-old woman dead from apparent stab wounds Wednesday night.

RELATED | Bloomington Police investigating apparent murder-suicide at student apartment complex

According to a press release from the Bloomington Police Department, detectives believe the female victim was killed by the man who then took his own life.

The woman has been identified as Yaolin Wang, 21, and lived in the apartment building. The man has been identified as Chuanlin Xiao, 20, and lived in Washington State.

Wang was a junior transfer student who was in her first semester at Indiana University. Xiao was not a student, according to Mark Land, IU spokesman.

"Yaolin Wang was a junior transfer student who had just begun her IU journey this fall, but who already had immersed herself in the Bloomington campus community, while Joseph Smedley II was a sophomore biochemistry major from Indianapolis who had many friends on campus," the statement said. 

Jospeh Smedley was last seen Sunday, and was reported missing by his sister on Monday. His body was found in Griffey Lake, just east of Old State Road 37 and about 3.5 miles north of downtown Bloomington Friday night. 

MORE | Body found in lake near Bloomington identified as missing IU student

Monroe County Coroner Nicole Meyer said the death is consistent with drowning. There is no foul play suspected.

"Any time a student dies, the entire campus community is diminished, and to lose two students in a span of days multiplies our collective grief and sense of mourning. To the family and friends of Yaolin and Joseph, I extend our deepest sympathies on behalf of the entire Indiana University family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of unfathomable sorrow and loss," he said in the statement. 

The statement said IU Counseling and Psychological Services has counselors available around-the-clock for students.

"There is no way to prepare for the sudden and premature loss of life that has occurred in our community this week. The best we can do, perhaps, is to support one another and make the time to the cherish our friends and loved ones every day," the statement said. 

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