Second UMass Amherst student found dead 

DA: No foul play suspected

  • The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) campus

Published: 4/28/2016 2:28:33 PM

AMHERST — A second University of Massachusetts Amherst student was found dead in his residence Wednesday, officials said Thursday.

Aaron Beltzer, 26, a graduate student in the geosciences department, was discovered in his off-campus apartment in Hadley Wednesday morning, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

That was the same day the university said another student, Jonathan Shaw — a 24-year-old senior mathematics major — was found dead in his Lewis Hall dorm room.

No foul play is suspected in either death, Mary Carey, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said. There was no word Thursday regarding the cause and manner of death for either man.

“The community was saddened to learn about the loss of two students this week. Several university offices are working together to provide resources to the family and friends of the deceased,” UMass spokesman Edward Blaguszewski wrote in an email. “We express our heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of both students. Although the deaths appear to be unrelated, they nonetheless highlight the ever increasing need to care and support each other on college campuses.”

Blaguszewski also said that a crisis support team had met with affected students, including those in residence halls, as well as classmates and faculty who teach classes involving these students.

“This is a standard and comprehensive process that we undertake following any student death, but we are especially mindful this week given that two students have passed away in a short period of time,” Blaguszewski said in the email.

UMass police were called to Shaw’s room to perform a welfare check at 11:49 a.m. Wednesday, Blaguszewski said.

Beltzer’s death remains under investigation by Hadley Police and Massachusetts State Police.

Michael Majchrowicz can be reached at


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