A college student died in his dorm room at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand — and his body wasn't found for nearly two months, local media reported.
The unnamed student's body was discovered Monday night after students complained of a mysterious stench in the dorm, New Zealand news site Stuff reported. The young man's father had reportedly contacted the police when he could not get in touch with his son.
The body was in such a state of decomposition that a disaster victim identification team reportedly had to be called in to check fingerprints, DNA, and dental records to determine the identity.
The student's name has not yet been made public, and the cause of death is still being investigated.
It is not yet clear how the student's death could have gone unnoticed for so long.
The school's vice-chancellor, professor Cheryl de la Rey, expressed her condolences to the boy's family in a statement, saying it is "inconceivable to imagine how these circumstances could have occurred."
"We are devastated by what has happened and extend our deepest sympathy to the family," she said. "This is an extremely distressing time for University students and staff."
The school is working with police to investigate the circumstances of the death, she added.
Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.
New Zealand Education Minister Chris Hipkins also called for an investigation, telling the Associated Press he is "really concerned about this case."
“If you’re going into a hall of residence or a hostel, you are paying top dollar for not just a roof over your head but also the pastoral care that goes with that,” Hipkins said. “And I think clearly that’s not been present in this case.”
“We’ll be looking very closely at the regulatory and legal arrangements around the halls of residence and hostels to make sure they are as strong as they need to be,” Hipkins added.