Body of Missing US College Student Found in Bermuda: Officials

The body of a Saint Joseph’s University rugby player who went missing in Bermuda over the weekend has been found, according to local police.

Searchers found the remains of Mark Dombroski, 19, at the base of a colonial-era fort in a park not far from where he was last seen walking by himself on CCTV footage, officials with the Bermuda Police Service said at a news conference.

Investigators have not ruled out foul play or determined a cause of death. An autopsy is pending. 

“Bermuda Police Service extends our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends,” Acting Commissioner James Howard said after a day of searching that included local authorities, volunteers and family.

Dombroski, 19 years old of Media, Pennsylvania, was last seen by teammates at The Dog House bar shortly after midnight Sunday, according to the Bermuda Police Service. 

On Monday, his body was found 2 miles away in a moat at Fort Prospect, a former infantry camp for the Bermuda Garrison. The area is located just yards from the Bermuda Police Service’s headquarters.

Investigators do not think alcohol played a role in the college freshman’s death.

“He wasn’t in a celebratory kind of mood,” his mother, Lisa Dombroski, said. “He wanted to get back.”

She speculated that her son, who had hurt his shoulder in a game that day and wasn’t feeling well, had simply wanted to call it a night. She said the surveillance footage showed him favoring his arm.

“We thank the citizens of Bermuda. People have been with us shoulder to shoulder throughout this ordeal,”  Lisa Dombroski said.

Mark Dombroski traveled to the island March 15 to compete in the 2018 Ariel Re Bermuda International 7s Rugby Tournament along with 19 other teams. The tournament finished two days later on Saturday, and Dombroski went out with friends.

Police learned of his disappearance around 9:15 a.m. Sunday and enacted a missing persons search. He was set to return to America along with the Philadelphia university’s team on Sunday, but the team made that trip home without him.

School officials from Saint Joseph’s said they were “heartbroken” to learn of Mark Dombroski’s death. 

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the Dombroski family along with Mark’s teammates, classmates and friends,” the university said in a statement.

Mark Dombroski was a business major. He attended Archmere Academy high school and was described as a “key member” of his college rugby team.

Parent Randy Chen, whose son played rugby with Dombroski, described him as an “all-American kid.”

“He was a star. He was fast,” Chen told NBC10. 

Saint Joseph’s held church services Monday evening, where friends and teammates gathered to mourn the 19-year-old. 

“It’s a tough time,” student Daniel Crossland said.

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