A troubled Maryland college student whose disappearance prompted a weeklong closure of the Washington College campus was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Saturday in Pennsylvania, police said.
Jacob Marberger, 19, was a sophomore at the college in Chestertown. The school was closed Monday after his parents reported that he had a gun and they were unable to reach him. College officials initially planned to resume classes the next day but upon receiving new information, they decided to keep the campus closed until after Thanksgiving break.
Marberger’s body was found Saturday at a picnic area at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, Pennsylvania, according to Pennsylvania state police. Police said he had killed himself. The sport-utility vehicle he had been driving was found with him, police said.
Marberger had been wanted on four charges after authorities said he displayed an antique gun at his fraternity house last month. Phi Delta Theta fraternity kicked him out last week and last Sunday he resigned his position as speaker of the senate in the college’s student government.
Chestertown Police Chief Adrian Baker told WTTG he was scheduled to have a hearing based on the school’s honor code. Baker told the Fox affiliate Marberger didn’t make any threats against the school or students. It closed proactively.
Officials at the private liberal arts college, which has about 1,450 students, also stressed that Marberger had not made any known threats to the campus or students. The decision to close was made amid heightened concerns about campus violence.
Counselors will be on hand when classes resume on Nov. 30, college officials said in a statement.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to the Marberger family in their time of unimaginable grief," the statement said. "This is a terrible blow to our community, and the outpouring of compassion and support we have shown each other will help us through this difficult time."
The wild bird sanctuary where Marberger's body was found is about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Marberger lived with his parents in the Philadelphia suburbs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.