The body of a New Jersey college student who had been missing for over a month was found on Monday, Oct. 23, just across the street from his campus, authorities said.
In a press release, the Hamilton Police announced they located the body at around 10 a.m. with the assistance of the New Jersey State Police.
Nick Pratico, 18, was last seen on Sept. 20 at orientation at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, about five miles northeast of Trenton.
Pratico was a freshman there, but his sister told New Jersey 101.5 that he had been offered a scholarship at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and would be starting classes there in the spring.
“There was no reason to think he would run away,” she said.
A few days after Pratico’s disappearance, a volunteer who was searching for Pratico found his school ID card on a campus lawn, Hamilton police said.
He was last seen at the college’s main campus, but police later said it was possible he traveled to Times Square or the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, The Trentonian reported.
The family launched a Facebook page to gather leads and coordinate search efforts for him. They also offered an unspecified reward for information leading to his return.
“Please, we do not want this to go on any longer. We just want to know that Nicky is okay. Please pray, share, and come forward with any valuable information,” the family wrote.
Friends of Pratico’s made a 12-minute video saying how much they cared about him, and asking him to come home.
While the official cause of death will be announced after an autopsy, The Trentonian reported unnamed police sources as saying that he was found hanging. The sources said they believed it was suicide.
“We are devastated and trying to process this latest news,” the family, responding to reports of his death, wrote on Facebook. “We have been buoyed by our faith and the strength of our family, neighbors, and the community at large.”