NCSU student found dead at private residence identified; investigation continues

Jamiese Price Image
Friday, February 24, 2023
NCSU student found dead at private residence, deputies investigating
An NC State representative said Thursday that the student was found at an off-campus private residence.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County Sheriff's Office has identified an N.C. State student who was found dead Wednesday.

On Friday, the student was identified as 21-year-old Patrick Thomas Sullivan.

An NC State representative said Thursday that the student was found at an off-campus private residence -- not on campus.

According to NC State, deputies said the student's death appeared to be accidental.

The investigation is ongoing. The Wake County Sheriff's Office said Friday that an official cause of death will not be released until after the Medical Examiner's report is complete.

The student's death is the ninth since the start of the school year and happened just days after an undergraduate student was found dead from an apparent suicide on campus.

ALSO SEE: Local universities faced with growing push for action on mental health

Students are becoming numb to the news

"As a campus, I feel like it's almost as if we're, like, desensitized by it," said Micah Oliphant, a first-year student at NC State.

Oliphant said hearing about the deaths of fellow students was taking a toll. Now he distances himself from it

"I'm doing a lot better after the first semester hearing about everything. I'm learning to manage everything well, and stuff. And I've developed a better support system," he said.

For sophomore Maddie Macchi, she describes the atmosphere on campus as tense.

"I know, in one of my classes, the professor did a check-in and gave us all note cards. It's been very difficult," said Macchi.

This week, the Student Mental Health Taskforce released an 89-page report with solutions to what is a growing crisis at N.C. State. The task force provided long-term and short-term recommendations, which include hiring and retaining more clinicians and case managers.

Macchi said the help is needed.

"It's really hard to find counselors, or, you know, they only get three sessions with counselors, and then they're told they have to move on to find someone else," she said.

Dr. Sophia Caudle with Bull City Psychotherapy said we are experiencing the effects of the pandemic and its toll on young people.

"So the ages of 18 to 25 are very delicate years for people. A lot of issues were present for people during that time. But what we're really experiencing right now is the fallout from COVID and COVID, meaning that everyone was living in isolation," said Caudle. "These young people who are, you know, 19, 20,21-year-olds, when social bonding needed to be a big part of their life that was really disrupted."