PRINCETON — The death of a Princeton University student whose body was found behind a campus tennis court in October has been ruled a suicide.

Misrach Ewunetie, 21, went missing on Oct. 14 after working at Princeton's Terrace Club, an eating club, on Washington Road. Following a large search of Carnegie Lake adjacent to campus, Ewunetie's body was found six days later by a university facilities employee near campus tennis courts.

When the body of the junior from Ohio was found, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said her death did not appear to be suspicious and there were no signs of injury.

The Middlesex County Medical Examiner, which conducted the autopsy, ruled Ewunetie's death was a suicide. The cause of her death was determined to be “Bupropion, Escitalopram and Hydroxyzine Toxicity.”

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Bupropion is a prescribed anti-depressant for the treatment of major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder and to help users quit smoking, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Escitalopram is also used for the treatment of major depressive disorder and anxiety. Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine used for the treatment of anxiety and to treat difficulties sleeping, nausea, itching, and allergies, according to NAMI.

Misrach Ewunetie, Princeton University tennis courts where her body was found
Misrach Ewunetie (Nate Tesfaye via GoFundMe), Princeton University tennis courts where her body was found (Google Maps)
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Criticism of the investigation

A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said Ewunetie's family requested no additional information be released and would not disclose if she was prescribed any of those medications.

Onofri had faced criticism from the family and some Princeton students after releasing little additional information about Ewunetie's death. Spokesperson Casey DiBlasio said earlier this month the office was awaiting all testing reports, including toxicology results, from the Middlesex County Medical Examiner before releasing a cause and manner of death.

Universe Ewunetie told The U.S. Sun his sister had a hard time not being on campus for her first year at Princeton because of the pandemic and was hoping to make friends at the Terrace Club. He said he was not aware of any personal problems she may have had.

Misrach Ewunetie
Misrach Ewunetie (Princeton University Department of Public Safety)
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Full ride to Princeton

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland told Cleveland’s CBS 19 Misrach Ewunetie was a 2020 graduate of Cleveland’s Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School and class valedictorian. She earned a full scholarship to Princeton and had recently changed majors to sociology, her brother told The Sun.

Universe Ewunetie told The Sun she had an appointment the Saturday after she went missing about 45 miles from Princeton regarding her application for American citizenship but was a no-show. He said their family came to the United States from Ethiopia in 2008.

If you feel you or someone you know may be in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK, or the NJ Hopeline, 1-855-654-6735

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