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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Local woman found dead outside Parish

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The two-day search for Tiffany Smith ended in tragedy on Sunday, January 3rd, when the missing Northfield resident was found deceased on the west side of Parish House at 3:30 p.m. The students who found her body promptly telephoned 9-1-1; the responders subsequently removed her body.

Smith had been reportedly distraught when she was last seen on the January 1, and a search was organized involving the Northfield police, campus security and members of the general public. Campus security were given a rough description of her, and asked to look out for a blond, middle-aged Caucasian female.

At the time of the search, campus security was informed that Smith was possibly intending to jump into the Cannon River. The Director of Security Wayne Eisenhuth, and two other officers helped in the search. They patrolled Carleton property along the river, a task made difficult by the river’s length adjoining Carleton property. Her disappearance was well-publicized and a search was conducted involving the police, friends, relatives and volunteers.

An autopsy has been commissioned into the death of Smith, but no foul play is suspected. According to Eisenhuth, the condition of the body indicates that she may have been outside Parish House for more than a day. Yet they believe she did not enter any campus building, as she did not possess a OneCard or key.

Both the Northfield Police and Campus security have confirmed that there were no signs of a struggle or of foul play, with exposure being the likely cause of death.

The location of the deceased on the campus’ west side was such that she could not be seen from the car park on the north side of Parish house. Therefore, it is probable that Smith could have arrived at Parish on the 2nd, but avoided discovery by Northfield Community members and Carleton students until the 3rd. Outside of a few vantage points it would have been difficult for passersby or searchers to find her.

However, Eisenhuth stated that this is mainly speculation, as there were no sightings of Smith, nor did she give any indication that she would be on Carleton’s campus. Furthermore, he knew of no sightings of the 31 year-old made since 4 a.m. on New Years Day.

Dean Livingston responded to the situation with a campus wide email on Tuesday, January 5th. She expressed the college’s sympathy towards the deceased’s family on behalf of the college. Her email also informed students that there are counseling and chapel facilities open to those upset by the incident.

Both Dean Livingston and campus security admit the school does not face any legal recourse on account of the incident, and is participating in the investigation. However, as Smith was not a member of the Carleton community, it is primarily the Northfield Police department and the Hennepin Country medical examiner who are investigating her death. To supplement the autopsy, there will be a toxicology report in the coming days.

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