The body found behind Mansfield Apartments on Friday has been identified as seventh-semester electrical engineering major Justin Niezrecki from Avon, according to Connecticut State Police and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head Dr. John Chandy.
In an email sent out to ECE students on Saturday, Chandy said the university will be coming together to support students and staff during this time.
“This is a difficult time for UConn, the department and for the Niezrecki family,” Chandy wrote. “A team of professionals from throughout the university continues to meet and mobilize resources to help our students, employees and others in whatever ways may be necessary.”
According to the Chief Medical Examiner, Niezrecki died by suicide.
“The loss of any member of our community reminds us of how precious life is, and how precious we are to each other — particularly a student who has given so much of himself to serving others, and had so much more to give,” UConn President Thomas Katsouleas said. “I offer my deepest condolences to the Niezrecki family on behalf of all of us at the University.”
Kazem Kazerounian, the Dean of the School of Engineering, sent an email out to students on Sunday detailing Niezrecki’s involvement on campus and offering resources for students who may be struggling to cope with the loss.
“Justin was an involved student at UConn, a key member of Engineering Ambassadors, the 3D Printing Club, the Engineering Student Leadership Council and the Gamers Club,” Kazerounian said. “We are heartbroken, and we look to find peace in celebrating his life.”
Kazerounian said he will also be personally available to talk to students in need during this hard time.
“The UConn community was deeply saddened to learn of the death of our student Justin Niezrecki,” UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. “Justin gave freely of his time and talents in several organizations on campus, notably the Engineering Ambassadors program. His legacy continues through the many young scientists he inspired and mentored in that program, and in the memories of the many friends and faculty on campus who knew him. He will always be part of the Husky family, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family.”
Niezrecki was also an intern for DEKA Research and Development Corporation, an engineering company based out of New Hampshire, according to his Facebook.
Richmond Apore, a seventh-semester biology and history double major and former roommate of Niezrecki’s, expressed his sadness at the loss and spoke of Niezrecki’s legacy and good heart.
“He just had a big heart, with the compassion for others in the world, in a very sincere manner,” Apore said. “This is a big loss, I just can’t imagine what his family and friends are probably going through now. Life just isn’t fair at all.”
Those who would like to pay their respects can join the Niezrecki family between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Carnon Funeral Home located on 301 Country Club Road in Avon.
This is a developing story.
The Mental Health Office at Student Health and Wellness is located on the fourth floor of Arjona (337 Mansfield Road, Storrs, CT 06269) and is open during normal business hours Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After hours, weekends and holidays, call 860-486-4705 and stay on the line.
The Dean of Students office on the second floor of the Wilbur Cross Building (233 Glenbrook Road, Storrs, CT 06269) is also available to assist students in need. You can make an appointment by calling 860-486-3426 or stop in Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
24/7 Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255