Paige Aiello’s Body Recovered Alongside Hudson River
The Aiello Family has confirmed that Paige Aiello's body was recovered alongside the Hudson River in Manhattan on Wednesday, her death ruled a suicide.
Paige's sister Erin Aiello tells the Times of Trenon they were notified early Thursday afternoon.
The New York City medical examiner said Thursday the cause of Paige's death was drowning by suicide.
An NYPD spokesman says the body was identified Thursday through dental records.
In a message posted on the Find Paige Facebook page the family thanks friends for their help in the search for the 22-year-old TCNJ student from Hillsborough.
It is with a heavy heart that we report to you that the body recovered yesterday is that of Paige. We want to thank each and every one of you for never gaving up hope and continuing to help try and find Paige. At this time, we ask for your continued prayers and support for Paige's family, friends and community during this most difficult time.
Last Seen At Her Home
Paige was last seen on Tuesday, April 9 at her Hillsborough home after her father brought her home from TCNJ’s Ewing campus.
In the days leading to her disappearance her family and friends said she had put a lot of pressure on herself and had become depressed.
Aiello’s sister Erin told the Times of Trenton that her sister had been staying at home lately instead of in her on-campus apartment. Paige had “put a lot of pressure on herself recently” as graduation approached Erin told MyCentralJersey.com. “With graduation looming, she (Paige) was a little down the past few weeks,” Erin said. “She has been very upset…we didn’t want her to be alone.”
Paige was the captain of the TCNJ tennis team and was scheduled to graduate next week. Her father Christopher said she had been accepted by nine law schools.
Her keys, cell phone and wallet were found on the George Washington Bridge’s south walkway a day later. Her car was found near Metropark station in New Brunswick.
Video footage captured her walking out of New York Penn Station and walking towards the George Washington Bridge. Several searches of the Hudson River and the bridge by the police have turned up no sign of her.
Friends conducted several searches of the area between the train station and the GWB and even expanded their search into other areas of Manhattan but were then asked to stop by the family to allow police and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office to follow up leads and tips.
TCNJ Students React
Students at The College of New Jersey were notified earlier today that Aiello's body was found. College officials plan to honor her during graduation ceremonies. Vice President for College Advancement John Donohue said Paige had completed her course work and will be considered a graduate of the class of 2013.
"She earned her degree," he said.
"This is devastating news for our campus community, its magnitude compounded as we reach the end of the academic year," TCNJ president R. Barbara Gitenstein said in a statement.
One student said, "I'm really said to hear [referring to Aiello's death] that and also frightened because I don't know how it happened, if there was someone else involved."
Many students said they feel awful for Aiello's family.
"It's just nerve wrecking just to know that things like that can happen and you're not expecting it. And also I just feel really horrible for her family," said one TCNJ student.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.