Missing U. of South Carolina student found dead near quarry

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A University of South Carolina student who went missing while walking home with friends over the weekend was found dead near a quarry after a two-day air and foot search, according to authorities.
Rescue workers in Colombia found a body around 5 p.m. that matched the description of Samuel Laundon (19). Sunday, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
Coroner Gary Watts confirmed Monday that the body found near the Vulcan Material Company quarry was Laundon, a student from Cary, North Carolina. The student died of blunt force trauma to the head and body, Watts noted.
Laundon was last seen on Saturday at around 2:30 a.m. while walking with friends in a neighborhood just over two kilometers from the university campus, Columbia police said. The group was lost and Laundon jumped over a fence "to get there faster," the sheriff's department said.
His friends called to pick them up, but Laundon declined to join, officials said.
Laundon's body was discovered in an area officials said was difficult to get to on foot and had a view blocked by bushes.
University President Bob Caslen confirmed the student's death in a statement Monday in which he offered "deepest compassion and heartfelt prayers" to Laundon's family and friends. He added that counseling services would be available to the campus community.

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