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Friends, family remember UNC student who died last week

There was a vigil Tuesday night in Chapel Hill for a UNC student found dead in his apartment last week.
There was a vigil Tuesday night in Chapel Hill for a UNC student found dead in his apartment last week.

The cause of 21-year-old Harris Pharr's death isn't known, but police do not suspect foul play.

More than 100 friends and family members gathered at the Old Well to light candles and mourn Pharr. Pharr's parents, relatives, classmates, and members of UNC's Greek community were in attendance.

A fraternity brother from the Chi Phi fraternity, of which Pharr was a member, spoke about Pharr's life and what a great guy he will be remembered as -- an intelligent and outgoing biomedical engineering major who had a bright future.

At the end of the service, Pharr's father, John, gave an impromptu speech and delivered a prayer. He encouraged his son's friends to hold their heads up and be happy about the life Harris led.

"That hurts probably more knowing that people are grieving than the loss of the child," said John. "It's hard to explain because it is such a painful ordeal, but we are certainly at peace with Harris."

John Pharr also offered new insight about Harris' death.

"I spoke to the medical examiner, and basically there was no indication of foul play," said John. "There was no indication of any trauma to the body. He believes he just went into a cardiac arrest."

Pharr was found dead in his Chapel Hill apartment last Thursday. Autopsy and toxicology reports are pending.

Pharr's funeral is set for Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh. A celebration service is scheduled at First Presbyterian Church.

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