- Ajay Sah, 22, a student at Drew University in Madison, was reported missing on Jan. 22.
Authorities have released the name of the foreign exchange student from Nepal, studying at a private university in New Jersey, whose body was discovered in Brooklyn, New York. As per a joint statement from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Madison Police Department, Ajay Sah, 22, a student at Drew University in Madison, was reported missing on Jan. 22. He was last seen on campus on Jan. 19.
Sah’s body was discovered on March 9 in the Anchorage Channel in Brooklyn, New York. While authorities were unable to confirm the identity, the NYPD notified the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Missing Persons Unit on April 25. Sah’s death was announced by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office on May 3.
“The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office extends its condolences to the Sah family for their loss,” read a statement from Acting Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll. “The circumstances of this disappearance were challenging, however, were investigated thoroughly by the MCPO, Madison Police Department and its law enforcement partners. We appreciate all of the hard work put into tracing Mr. Sah’s movements. We pray the Sah family finds closure following the tragic loss of their family member. I’d also like to thank the public for its help in getting the word out about this missing person.”
An investigation into Sah’s disappearance revealed that he traveled by a NJ Transit train to New York Penn Station. He was seen traveling alone and carrying a backpack. But his laptop, assignments and study materials were left on his desk at school, as if he planned to return, family and friends told local news media at the time. Shah had not posted on social media since leaving his room and his last credit card transaction was for the purchase of his train ticket.
After Sah went missing in January, his family set up a GoFundMe page. It’s been updated now with a new goal for funds. “Ajay was not only a valued member of the Drew University community, but also a beloved son, and brother to his family in Nepal,” his brother Shiva Sah wrote. “His departure has left a hole in the hearts of many, and we are devastated by his loss.” Shiva Saw said his brother was known for his adventurous spirit, contagious smile, and his unconditional kindness. “His warmth truly touched the lives of all those around him.”
Noting that the family want to give Sah the memorial that he truly deserves, “a traditional cremation by his loved ones, to honor his memory and the impact that he has on all of us,” the family is requesting donations “for the cremation, to fly the immediate family members to New Jersey for his cremation, and for other religious and cultural rites to be conducted over the period of one month.” As of May 4, the page had raised $30,590 of the $75,000 goal.
Drew University also released a statement on May 3 by Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Life Frank Merckx. “Ajay will be greatly missed by the entire Drew community, as well as the community of Madison, New Jersey. The thoughts and prayers of the greater Drew family go out to his close friends and family.”