The search has ended for a college student missing in western Pennsylvania. Authorities discovered the body of Devon Minor, a Philadelphia area native who grew up in Germantown, in the Beaver River Thursday morning in New Brighton, Pa.
Minor, a freshman at Geneva College, had been missing since late January. According to the Beaver County Times, police confirmed his identity with a student identification found in a sweatshirt pocket.
Initial media reports have said the Beaver County Police ruled Minor’s death a suicide, but family members are not convinced.
“The family does not believe it’s a suicide,” said Minor’s aunt, Tammy Horton. “We believe it was accidental.” Horton said Minor was a runner and when his body was found, “he had on his track sneakers and his jogging attire.”
Horton said the suicide ruling was still a theory, and that the autopsy was not complete yet. A representative from the Beaver County Police was not able to comment.
Messages of support and grief have been pouring out for Devon, 18, and his family, ever since his disappearance. Class members from his college and fellow alums from La Salle College High School in Montgomery County, along with many others, have been flooding a Facebook page devoted to Minor.
“We are deeply saddened by Devon’s passing,” reads an email sent to Geneva College students and staff today by school president Ken Smith. “This is a painful time for Devon’s family, friends, our community, and so many others.”
A few weeks prior to his disappearance, Minor discovered the identity of his father, but family members didn’t think that factored into his disappearance, they also did not think Minor was prone to depression.
Rumors of a troubling Facebook post by Minor just before his disappearance surfaced during the initial search for Minor, but family members were never sure the post was real. It spoke, allegedly, of having a problem no one else can help with.
Minor was a devout member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Germantown with his family. Horton said the trials of the last few months and Thursday morning’s discovery have been awful, but the family is holding together.
“We are devastated, but because we believe in our god and we have the prayers of our friends and our church family, that’s what’s sustaining us,” Horton said.
Those who knew him described Devon Minor as a quiet person, with a desire to help others.