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Mark Dombroski: Missing 19-year-old student found dead in Bermuda

Emily Shugerman

A 19-year-old US student who went missing while travelling with his university rugby team in Bermuda has been confirmed dead.

Police said they found the body of Mark Dombroski, a first-year student at Saint Joseph's University, at the base of a colonial-era fort on the British Island territory on Monday – one day after he was reported missing.

Friends and family members recalled last seeing him just after midnight Sunday, at a local restaurant where revellers had gone after competing in the 2018 Ariel Re Bermuda International 7s Rugby Tournament. Dombroski was competing with his schools’ team.

The student’s disappearance sparked a day-long search, with help from local authorities, a marine unit, family members, and volunteers.

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Dombroski family," James Howard, acting assistant commissioner of the Bermuda Police Service, said at a press conference announcing the death.

Parents John and Lisa Dombroski, left, stand with their sons John, behind, and Kevin during a press conference regarding their son and brother Mark: Blaire Simmons/The Royal Gazette via AP

Police said CCTV footage indicated that Dombroski was alone at 1:09 am on Sunday, walking along Front Street in the island’s capital city. He was wearing a green T-shirt, khaki pants and black shoes and appeared to be using a cellphone, police said.

Officials were still working to determine the cause of death, but did not rule out foul play. There was no evidence that alcohol played a role in his disappearance.

The Saint Joseph’s University community was “heartbroken” over the news, the school said in a statement.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the Dombroski family along with Mark's teammates, classmates and friends," the Philadelphia-based university said, adding that counselling and ministry would be available to students. They also asked for privacy for Dombroski's family and friends.

The student’s mother, Lisa Dombroski, spoke at the press conference with police officers.

“We dearly love our son, we cherish our son ... We want him back,” she said. “We thank the citizens of Bermuda. People have been with us shoulder to shoulder throughout this ordeal.”