CARBONDALE - Officials at Southern Illinois University Carbondale say foul play is not suspected in the death of a graduate student whose body was found Wednesday morning.

Campus police were called to the north side of campus at about 8 a.m. after students passing over the creek located behind Wright Hall, between Logan Drive and Wall Street, discovered the body of international graduate student Huaijun Meng.

SIUC spokesman Rod Sievers said Meng was 31 years old and that there were no obvious signs of trauma to the body, which was fully clothed. The school's Web site shows Meng was a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering.

At about 10:30 a.m., officials from the Carbondale Fire Department pulled Meng's body from the water near the small wooden bridge that crosses the creek near Wright Hall.

The school reports the last time Meng was seen was by his roommate at about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday. But Meng's neighbors in Southern Hills apartments said they saw him alive at about 6 p.m. the same day.

Pu Qin and Stephanie Rong said they live next door to Meng and considered him a friend.

"We saw him yesterday at about 6 when we got home from Wal-Mart," Qin said. "He was leaving as we came in."

"He nodded when he saw us," Rong said.

The couple described Meng as a quiet but friendly person.

Qin added that Meng "talked very little these days. I feel he was lonely."

Meng's roommate, Yiaqiang Ding, said nothing seemed out of the ordinary when he last saw him early Tuesday afternoon.

"He was arranging, doing his laundry. Everything was normal. There was nothing abnormal," he said. "He was a very good person."

Meng's body was taken to Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and was scheduled to be examined by Jackson County medical examiners Wednesday evening.

Meng was from China and his family was notified of his death, Sievers said.


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