George Mason Law School

Student’s body discovered by police

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April 26, 2010

2:41 PM

_Story updated 5:24 p.m._

The Virginia Beach Police Department discovered the body of Ian Smith-Christmas ’11 at approximately 4:30 p.m. Monday.

The discovery came in response to a missing persons bulletin issued by the Williamsburg Police Department Monday morning.

According to a press release issued by Williamsburg police and Virginia Beach police, Smith-Christmas’ silver Ford Taurus was discovered in the parking lot of a hotel on the 200 block of Atlantic Ave.

Virginia Beach police declined to comment.

According to Virginia Beach police, preliminary investigations determined that Smith-Christmas’ death was an apparent suicide.

“The worst of fears was confirmed late last night as the family of Ian Kramer Smith-Christmas and the College were notified that Ian’s body had been found in his car by Virginia Beach Police, his death the result of an apparent suicide,” Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88 Ph.D ’06 said in an e-mail sent to students Tuesday morning.

Williamsburg police began investigating the disappearance of the College of William and Mary student and Williamsburg resident after he was reported missing Monday morning.

Smith-Christmas’ parents reported him missing after they were unable to contact him.

A friend last reported seeing Smith-Christmas, 21, at approximately 9:00 p.m. Saturday in the 800 block of Westgate Circle in Williamsburg.

“The Counseling Center will also be open throughout the day and until 7 p.m. this evening to anyone who would find talking to a counselor helpful [and] the Center is located on the second floor of Blow Hall, 221-3620,” Ambler said. “As always, counselors are on call on a 24-hour basis and can be reached after hours through the W&M Police at 221-4596. Additionally, the Residence Life staff, Dean of Students Office, campus ministers, and my office are available on a priority basis for those who need us.”

Ambler said that the aftermath of Monday’s events would be a time of sensitivity and reflection at the College.

“In the coming days, I will share information about Ian’s funeral and/or memorial service,” Ambler said. “Until then, it is important for us all to be sensitive to one another, knowing that Ian’s death is a tragic loss to our whole community. To his family, his friends and loved ones, his faculty and all those who are grieving, we extend our support and deepest sympathy.”

A campus memorial service for Smith-Christmas is scheduled to occur in the Wren Chapel Thursday at 12 p.m.

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