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20-Year-Old Bowdoin College Student Found Dead in Off Campus Parking Lot: 'Heartbroken'

The student was identified as Qingyang Zhan by Bowdoin president Safa Zaki

<p>Robert F. Bukaty/AP </p> The Bowdoin College campus during spring break in March 2020

Robert F. Bukaty/AP

The Bowdoin College campus during spring break in March 2020
  • A 20-year-old student who attended Bowdoin College in Maine was found dead in a parking lot over the weekend, according to police

  • Bowdoin College President Safa Zaki has identified the student as Qingyang “K” Zhan, who had been living in the United States since 2019

  • Police chief Marc Hagan said there is "no cause to believe that there is an active threat to the community”

The Bowdoin College community is mourning the death of a 20-year-old student.

The young woman was found dead Sunday “in the parking lot of 2 Main Street” in Topsham, where equipment is currently being parked “for the construction of the replacement to the Frank J. Woods Bridge,” Police Chief Marc Hagan said in a news release.


Officers reached the scene a short time later and pronounced the woman dead, Hagan added, noting that she as a student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

Bowdoin College President Safa Zaki identified the student in a letter as Qingyang “K” Zhan, a government and legal studies and Asian studies double major who was born in Shanghai, China, and had been living in the United States since 2019.

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“Like so many of you, I am heartbroken and shocked,” Zaki wrote.

Zhan previously graduated from Athenian School in California and also studied at Oxnard College in the same state “before matriculating at Bowdoin in the fall of 2021,” according to the college president.

Additionally, the student was “active in the Asian Student Association” and was one of the founders of Bowdoin College’s Chinese Students Association," Zaki said. She was also a learning assistant for Asian Studies in the Baldwin Center for Teaching and Learning, and “played the piano and guitar as part of the Bowdoin Concert Band.”

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Faculty members remembered Zhan for her “bright and engaging presence” as well as “her warmth and kindness,” according to the school's president.

“There really are no adequate words to convey how devastating this loss is for our community,” Zaki said in the letter. “I know you join me in extending heartfelt condolences to K’s family.”

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Counseling was made available to students after news of Zhan’s death, Zaki said.

Zhan’s body has since been transported to the local Medical Examiner’s Office, “where an autopsy has been conducted,” Hagan said. Police are still awaiting the results, he added.

The police chief stated “there is currently no cause to believe that there is an active threat to the community."

An investigation into the student's death is ongoing. Her cause of death has not been released.

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