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MU student found dead in Laws Hall

April 17, 1998

MU junior Ivan Vladimirovich Sychov, 20, was found dead in his Laws Hall room late Thursday afternoon.

"He was kind of quiet and to himself but he got along with everyone," said Stephanie Kuykendal, a Laws Hall resident who knew Sychov. "I just could not believe it."

Sychov, a native of Omsk, Russia, went to high school in Florida and then came to MU as part of the International Studies program.

MU police were called to the residence hall late Thursday afternoon after a Residential Life staff member discovered the body.

Police have not released the cause of death.

"We're not calling it anything at this time," said MUPD Officer Glenn Fernou.

However, Laws Hall residents said a Residential Life staff member went into Sychov's room after he had been missing for three days. There, Sychov was found hanging in his closet.

Police would neither confirm nor deny the statements.

Students said a strong odor permeated the hall.

"I'm on the seventh floor, and I could smell it," said Laws Hall resident Julie Polsky. "It was the most horrific smell."

Residential Life brought in counselors to help students cope with the death, said Frankie Minor, director of Residential Life.

"He was a good guy, took upper-level business classes and was involved in the hall," said Josh Reed, community adviser for Sychov's floor, which houses mostly international students. "I think people are suffering. I told them it was OK to cry."

Some students left for home after Sychov's body was discovered.

Minor spent most of the night in Laws Hall and said his first priority was to contact the immediate family.

"Then our concern is dealing with the students close to him — friends, neighbors, acquaintances," Minor said.

Students who knew Sychov said his parents are probably in his home town in Russia.

Sychov was described as a quiet student who kept to himself.

The 20-year-old business major was about 6 feet tall with short blond hair and a light complexion. He lived alone in room 300, where on the door he had posted his goals for the semester: getting a 4.0 GPA and talking more.

He received good news just before his death: He was accepted for a business internship in Washington, D.C.

Sychov worked on campus for Project SERVE, an effort to promote gender equity in business. He was also a member of the campus karate club. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

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