Missing Maryland Jewish college student found dead

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A Jewish college student from Maryland was found dead in Pennsylvania in what is reported to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Jacob Marberger, a sophomore at Washington College, had been missing since November 16, when he left home with a firearm, leading to a shutdown of the school for at least two days until it was decided to close the campus until the end of Thanksgiving break.

Marberger’s body was found Saturday in a nature sanctuary in Kempton, Pennsylvania, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The car that he had been driving also was found there, according to reports.  The sanctuary is located about an hour and a half drive from his family’s home in suburban Philadelphia. It is not known how long his body had been there before it was discovered, the New York Times reported.

In an announcement posted on its website on Saturday evening, the college informed the campus community about Marberger’s death.

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“This is a terrible blow to our community, and the outpouring of compassion and support we have shown each other will help us through this difficult time. We need to continue to be supportive of each other as we mourn individually and as a community,” the post said.

Vigils had been held for Marberger, including one large gathering at Temple Beth Am in Abington, Pennsylvania, the Forward reported.

Marberger had been suspended from campus for two weeks and was kicked out of his fraternity and dormitory, and faced expulsion from the college for showing off an antique pistol at a campus party, according to the Times, and faced possible criminal charges since it is illegal in Maryland for someone under the age of 21 to possess a firearm. The incident reportedly left him feeling depressed.

He reportedly had not made any threats to the college or fellow students.

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