We’re sad to share the news of the tragic death of a former high school and college athlete.
A 21-year old who entered Columbia University with a full scholarship and a bright future was found dead of a possible overdose in a dorm room Sunday, officials said.
Jessica Fingers, a former track star at Monticello High School in the Catskills, was lying unconscious and faceup on the floor of her friend’s room in East Campus Residence Hall on Morningside Drive about 11:45 a.m., sources said.
The doomed young woman’s boyfriend — who does not attend the prestigious Ivy League college — made the horrifying discovery, a source told the Daily News.
“I woke up and the love of my life was dead next to me,” Peter Russell, a self-described freelance tattoo artist, wrote on his Facebook page sprinkled with photos of the smitten couple embracing. “My life is over . . . Shes gone so i have nothing to live for . . . ”
Shortly after, a man believed to be Fingers’ older brother, Tyrell Fingers, took to Russell’s Facebook wall to unleash a menacing threat against the heartbroken lover.
“F–k u peter im coming for ur life,” wrote the Facebook poster using the name Flacko Ty.
An autopsy to determine the cause of Jessica Fingers’ death is pending. But police believe she overdosed, and no foul play is suspected, sources said.
Fingers, who had taken a leave of absence from college after the spring 2012 semester, had been visiting a friend at the dorm, said Kevin Shollenberger, the university’s dean of student affairs.
It was not clear why she left Columbia last year, and university officials declined to comment Sunday night.
But the troubled young athlete appears to have suffered last year from a series of blood clots in her brain and a stroke, according to her mother’s Facebook page, which includes photographs of a smiling Fingers in a hospital bed.
“My beautiful, strong daughter, Jessica is making a speedy recovery after her stroke,” wrote Athena Fingers-Bellamy on Feb. 6, 2012.
Several months later, Jessica Fingers wrote on her own Facebook wall that she was starting to recover — yet hinted at a possible source of her health problems.
“My brain blood clots dissolved!!!” she wrote May 10, 2012. “I care about my body so much and yet I was treating it so bad.”
Her stepfather, Robert Bellamy, said Sunday night that Fingers had recovered from the stroke and was cleared to return to school.
“She loved Columbia,” he said from the family’s Monticello home Sunday night while Jessica’s mother sobbed uncontrollably upstairs. “It was her dream school.”
This is so sad. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
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