Spain: Missing U.S. Student Found Dead in River

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MADRID (AP) -- The body of a U.S. exchange student was found Tuesday in a river in Madrid, 10 days after he went missing following a night on the town, a police official said.
The cause of death was not known but there were no immediate signs of foul play in the death of 22-year-old San Diego State University business student Austin Bice, the National Police official said.
Bice's body was found in the Manzanares River, a shallow, slow-moving waterway that runs through western Madrid, in a spot not far from the nightclub where he was last seen early Feb. 26, said the police official.
She spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department rules.
Bice, from Carlsbad, California, was studying international business at Carlos III University and had been in Spain since January. Roommates had reported him missing after he failed to return home following the night out. His father Larry Bice had traveled to Madrid to help in the search.
The body was found after a roughly 500-meter (yard) section of the river, which contains several locks, was drained as part of the search, police said.
After Bice went missing, friends and classmates put up posters of him around the city. On Monday night, students in San Diego held a candlelight vigil for him.
Bice's father has said his son was physically fit, tall -- six-foot-four -- and had recently climbed Mt. Whitney in California with him.
Maria Garcia, a friend of Bice's, told The Associated Press over the weekend that Bice and others had been drinking at an apartment before going out to the club. A doorman suggested Bice rest a while before going in because he looked unwell. A friend then stayed outside with him until Bice said he was going to walk home.
On Tuesday, Garcia said she had no idea how Bice had gone missing.
Bice's father did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
Carlos Lopez-Terradas, who runs the exchange program at Carlos III University, described Bice as a popular young man with lots of friends. The university has sent an e-mail to all students and staff informing them of Bice's death, and flags there were flying at half-staff Tuesday in his honor. The university has also contacted Bice's family about holding a memorial ceremony for him in Spain.
"We are crushed. We still cannot believe it," Lopez-Terradas said.


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