Police: Smith graduate, 24, ID’d as swimmer who died in Mill River

  • Search crews located the body of a missing swimmer in the area of Bottoms Road in the Mill River about one-quarter mile upstream from the Clement Street bridge in Northampton on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, at around 11:20 a.m. STAFF PHOTO/Kevin Gutting

  • Lucy-Lynn M. Graves Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 9/21/2018 2:26:18 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The swimmer who died in the Mill River Tuesday was a 24-year-old Smith College graduate who friends say frequently swam in the river.

Police on Friday identified the woman as Lucy-Lynn Ming Graves, who lived in Northampton.

Graves went swimming in the river on Tuesday and was the subject of a search and rescue effort that lasted until her body was found Thursday afternoon. Graves’ friends informed police that she swam in the Mill River regularly. The search began after Graves’ belongings were found beside the river and she did not return for them.

Graves graduated from Smith College in 2015 and the Smith School of Social Work in 2018. Marianne Yoshioka, dean of the School of Social Work, issued a statement in response to Graves’ death.

“As all of us who knew Lucy can attest, she was a smart, capable, and gentle person. She was an excellent clinician. This is an enormous loss for her family, our community, and for the field of social work,” Yoshioka said.

Smith College’s Schacht Center for Health and Wellness and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life is offering support to students, according to the statement.

Emmett Wald was a friend of Graves.

“She was very warm, very thoughtful, funny, very smart,” said Wald. “She loved to dive into deep topics.”

During these conversations, Wald said that they would end up talking about really personal things, such as the meaning of life and what they were planning to do with their lives.

Wald also said that Graves loved to do card tricks, and that when the two of them met at a party where neither knew many people, Graves did card tricks for Wald for an hour.

Wald also said that Graves loved to run and swim.

Even though Wald knew that Graves liked to swim in the river and had heard the police reports, Wald didn’t know she was missing until they heard the news of her death.

“You never think it’s going to happen to you, or somebody you know,” Wald said. “It felt fake at first.”

Wald said that Graves kept to herself, but had a lot of friends in the School of Social Work.

“She was going to be an amazing social worker,” Wald said.

Wald said that services are being planned, and will be held at the chapel at Smith College.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettent.com.

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