Police find remains of missing Columbia dentistry student
After an almost monthlong search, police found the body of a missing Columbia University dental student over the weekend in the Hudson River near West 86th Street.
Jiwon Lee, 29, went missing in early April after she was last seen at her Upper West Side apartment by a roommate.
Authorities said they recovered the body on Saturday afternoon, and that the medical examiner would determine the cause of death.
At the time of her disappearance, friends said police were able to ping her cellphone to a tower in Washington Heights near the George Washington Bridge, but were unable to further track her whereabouts.
Her brother, Matt, crowdfunded more than $87,000 to hire a private detective as well as offer a reward for information. On Sunday evening, the site committed to turn any further money raised toward a memorial scholarship fund.
Lee, who reportedly suffered from depression, was slated to graduate from the dental program this month.
“Thank you for your continued prayers, donations, and support. Unfortunately, Jiwon, beloved daughter, sister, and friend has gone on to a better place,” the family posted online. “We are currently planning a memorial service to honor Jiwon and will post further details as soon as possible.”
A former comedian, Lee was also remembered by friends in the local circuit.
Jiwon Lee was funny & nice & smart. You usually get two of those together, but rarely all three. She’d hate this tweet. She was great.
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) May 5, 2014
Jiwon Lee’s passing is a terrible tragic thing. She was one of our earliest guests on Big Terrific and always made me laugh, hard.
— Max Silvestri (@maxsilvestri) May 5, 2014
Rest in peace Jiwon Lee. You made so many people laugh & smile.
— Selena Coppock (@SelenaCoppock) May 5, 2014
I used to take the N train home w/ Jiwon Lee after our shows at Rififi and we’d mock all of the comics with Asian fetishes. She was great.
— Joe Mande (@JoeMande) May 5, 2014
Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria