- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2005

SYKESVILLE, Md. (AP) — Police in New York City have identified a body found floating in the Hudson River last week as that of a missing college student from Sykesville.

Police said a family member identified the body of 22-year-old Patrick Welsh, a York College senior who had been missing since April 15.

Authorities have not determined a cause of death and autopsy results are pending, Maryland State Police said. Mr. Welsh was positively identified late Tuesday from dental records, police said.

Mr. Welsh was last seen boarding a train from Harrisburg, Pa., to New York. He told his family he was going to visit friends at Columbia University for a long weekend.

Hours later, he made a cell-phone call from midtown Manhattan but was neither seen nor heard from since.

Three days later, Mr. Welsh’s cell phone was used by a homeless man who said he found it in a vacant lot in the Bronx. Police questioned John Dennis Koppinger but determined he was not a suspect.

Last month, Maryland State Police, responding to a tip that Mr. Welsh was a fan of jam bands such as Ratdog and the All Mighty Senators and might have attended a Ratdog concert in New York on April 16, posted an appeal for help on a Web site of the band’s fans.

But police had no clues to Mr. Welsh’s fate until the discovery of his body shortly after noon last Thursday in the 79th Street Boat Basin in Manhattan.

“This really just comes as a tremendous shock,” said Dominic DelliCarpini, a York College professor who taught Mr. Welsh writing. “We were hoping for different news. I guess we were all hoping greatly that he was out there exploring and learning and doing some writing about his experiences.”

Mr. DelliCarpini said Mr. Welsh was “a very bright young man with an active mind and a wonderful writer.”

York College issued a statement expressing condolences.

“No words can ease the pain of the loss they have experienced and it is with deepest sympathy that we remember them in our thoughts and prayers. While Patrick was part of the York College family for just a short time, we know all who shared his experiences here will treasure those memories,” the statement reads.

Brian Haight, of Haight Funeral Home in Sykesville, said a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday.

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