March 21, 2006
Police are investigating the death of a Cornell University student found in a University of Virginia dorm room.
Matthew Pearlstone, 19, was visiting a friend over spring break who lived in Cauthen residence hall, where he was found dead in a bed Friday morning at 9:30 a.m.
"We don't know the cause of death," campus police Sgt. Melissa Fielding said. "We don't know anything at this point."
Authorities said there was no evidence of foul play, and that Pearlstone's body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Richmond for an autopsy.
Howard Pearlstone said his grandson was "partying" the night before he died.
"He went to sleep and never woke up," Howard Pearlstone said. "The whole thing is beyond my comprehension."
Pearlstone came to Charlottesville on spring break to visit a UVA student, and on Thursday the two spent time at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house, where the UVA student is pledging. Witnesses say Pearlstone was drinking alcohol. Later that night, Pearlstone was dropped off at Cauthen dorm.
While this case is still under investigation, UVA Spokesperson Carol Wood said, "The University community was terribly saddened to learn of the death of this visiting Cornell student. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this student, with his friends, and with the members of the Cauthen community."
Matthew Pearlstone, a former marathon runner in high school in St. Louis, was a freshman at Cornell majoring in computer science and electrical engineering. He was a member of the Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle club, which competes in building underwater, unmanned vehicles, explained Simeon Moss, a spokesman for the New York university.
Moss said a memorial service will be held at Cornell when students return from spring break.