A Chinese doctoral student who was studying at the University of Michigan has been declared dead after disappearing following a plane crash earlier this year. He was 27.
Rong Xin was a certified pilot. On March 15th, he rented a single-engine airplane from the Ann Arbor Airport. The plane crash landed in a dense forest in Ontario, out of fuel.
At the scene, investigators found no sign of Rong and subsequent searches turned up no clues.
An Ontario Provincial Police spokesman said that investigators believe Rong committed suicide by jumping from the plane during flight. A University of Michigan spokesperson said that campus police “have reasons to believe his actions likely were an act of self-harm.”
Last month, Rong’s wife, Ruan Surong, asked a judge to declare her husband dead. Last Thursday, the judge signed that order, stating that although his body had not been found, there was no chance of him being alive.
Rong was pursuing a PhD at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, studying human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing.
Last month, a 17-year-old Chinese high-school student who had been studying in Canada was found dead in a river near Vancouver. The teen’s death is not considered suspicious.
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