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September 01, 2020 1:28pm
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Maine college student found dead as authorities investigate cause

A 20-year-old Maine college student was found dead in a parking lot Sunday near the Frank J. Woods Bridge in Topsham. Officials are awaiting autopsy results.

A college student was found dead in a parking lot Sunday near the Frank J. Woods Bridge in Topsham, Maine, according to officials.

Topsham Police said the victim was a 20-year-old woman from California who was attending Bowdoin College. Police did not release the woman's name, but Bowdoin College President Safa Zaki released a statement identifying the student as Qingyang Zhan.

Police responded around 7 a.m. Sunday morning to a report of a deceased person located in the parking lot at 2 Main St.

The woman’s body has been transported to the Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy to be conducted. Officials are awaiting the results.


The incident remains under investigation, but police said they do not believe there is a threat to the public.

Zaki's statement notified the campus community of the death of Zhan, who was otherwise known as K, WMTW reported. Zhan, born in Shanghai, China, has lived in the U.S. since 2019. She went to school in California before starting at Bowdoin College in the fall of 2021.

"Faculty members describe K as a bright and engaging presence, and many will remember her warmth and kindness," Zaki wrote. Her academic advisor, Jean Yarbrough — the Gary M. Pendy Sr. Professor of Social Sciences — described K as a student who was "deeply interested in the most important theological and philosophical questions."


The college is offering extended counseling hours for students this week following Zhan's death.

"Like so many of you, I am heartbroken and shocked," Zaki wrote. "There really are no adequate words to convey how devastating this loss is for our community. I know you join me in extending heartfelt condolences to K’s family."

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