Franco Garcia: Boston College students saddened by loss

Family and friends of missing Boston College student Franco Garcia gathered in February with the hopes of finding him alive.

Students were “absolutely shocked” when they heard that a body pulled from the Chestnut Hill Reservoir Wednesday is believed to be that of Boston College classmate Franco Garcia.

“You think that we are all in a nice area, in a tight knit community,” said sophomore Nicole Koszowski. “You never think about something like that happening around here.”

Koszowski said students will likely be more cautious about where they go drinking, or who they are with when they go out.

Michael Shippie, 21, said although he didn’t know Garcia personally, the tragedy hit the small college campus community hard.

“It is very off-putting,” he said. “But it has fostered a sense of community on campus and now when people go out, I don’t think they will let a friend go home alone.”

Students in the band building, where Garcia was an active member, refused to comment.

“It’s just scary,” said one band member leaving the building, who refused to give his name.
Eighteen-year-old Johnny Gaudreau said the news was “terrible,” and he hoped no “foul play” was involved in Garcia’s death.

“It makes you a little more cautious,” said Gaudreau.

Gaudreau said Garcia, and his family, will be in students’ prayers.

A preliminary investigation indicates that it was Garcia’s body recovered from the reservoir by officials Wednesday.

State and local authorities said clothing and items on the body were consistent with those worn by Garcia the night he disappeared after leaving a bar in Cleveland Circle.

Garcia had been missing for seven weeks. Authorities said a thick,  invasive aquatic plant may have hindered the search for Garcia when he was reported missing.

A memorial service is being held at St. Mary’s church in Waltham tonight at 7 p.m.

The vigil is being held by friends of Garcia’s, according to a source who was close to the student, and is open to the public.

Boston College Spokesman Jack Dunn said a service at the school would be scheduled at a later date.
Dunn said grief counselors will be on campus to meet with and console students.


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