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Qingyang Zhang Obituary, Death: Qingyang Zhan, also known as K, was discovered dead in Topsham, a student at Bowdoin College.
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Qingyang Zhang Obituary, Death: Qingyang Zhan, also known as K, was discovered dead in Topsham, a student at Bowdoin College.

Apr 3, 2024
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Qingyang Zhang Obituary: The death of a 20-year-old junior made Monday tough for the Bowdoin College community. The deceased person’s body was found the day before in an off-campus parking area, raising a lot of questions and providing few answers.

Qingyang Zhan’s body was found by Topsham Police Department officers in a parking lot near the Frank J. Wood Bridge early on Sunday morning. The bridge provides a means of transport between Topsham and Brunswick, the location of the private liberal arts college. It is situated slightly more than a mile from the Bowdoin campus’s edge.

According to a written statement issued by Topsham Chief of Police Marc Hagan, officers responded to a report of a deceased person in the parking lot at 2 Main Street, which is being used to store equipment for the construction of a new bridge, shortly after 7 a.m. The chief recognised the person as a twenty-year-old woman from California who is a current Bowdoin College student. College President Safa Zaki subsequently disclosed that the student in question was Zhan, who she said was also known by the name K, in a statement that she sent out to the community on Sunday.

The police have said that they are awaiting the findings of an autopsy that was completed by the state medical examiner’s office. It is unknown at this moment if the authorities are investigating the case as a suicide, accident, homicide, or medical incident.

Hagan said in his statement that the investigation is still ongoing and that there is no present threat to the community. The Topsham police department did not reply to messages left on Monday asking for details about the case.

The agency official claims that the Maine State Police are not in any way taking part in the inquiry. Except for Portland and Bangor, where the city police departments are in charge of doing so, the state police are in charge of looking into homicides throughout the entire state.

The medical examiner’s office, which declined to comment on the autopsy or the manner in which the decedent died, stated that standard testing can take anywhere from six to eight weeks. Zaki stated that Zhan was born in Shanghai; however, since 2019, Zhan has been a resident of the United States. She moved to Bowdoin College in the autumn of 2021 after completing her studies in California with the goal of earning a double degree in Asian studies and integrated political and legal studies.

Apart from her role as a learning assistant and her musical background as a piano and guitar player in the Bowdoin Concert Band, Zaki mentioned that Zhan was also actively involved in the founding of the Chinese Students Association and the Asian Student Association.

Zaki mentioned that there would be a memorial service held on campus. “Faculty members describe K as a bright and engaging presence, and many will remember her warmth and kindness,” Zaki wrote in the letter. John Morneau, the director of the concert band at Bowdoin College, where Zhan played, declined to be interviewed via email. Zhan was unavailable for comment.

Even though it was fifty degrees outside and many students were studying, frisbeeing, or playing spikeball on the grass, the campus of Bowdoin College seemed depressing on this Monday afternoon. Most of the twelve or so students who were contacted by a reporter said they didn’t know Zhan or that they didn’t feel comfortable speaking, but they all thought the news was bad for the college community.

The 1,900-student school’s on-campus counselling service will stay open until seven o’clock for the balance of the week, which is two hours later than usual. Furthermore, instructors have permitted laxer attendance regulations this week, which motivates students to take the time necessary to comprehend the material.

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