Approximately 30 people from multiple agencies--including members of the Cornell University Police Department, the Ithaca Police Department, New York State Police, the Ithaca Fire Department and Cornell Environmental Health and Safety--were involved in the search.
The Ithaca Fire Department and Cornell University police searched the area around where King was last seen, but because of darkness and the hazardous terrain, the search was suspended at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. The team resumed their search at 9 a.m. Sunday, joined by the Ithaca police, and staff from the Cornell Environmental Health and Safety department. The area east of the Stewart Avenue bridge above Ithaca Falls was searched, and a state police helicopter was also used.
On Sunday (8/29/10), emergency crews recovered a body lying in a deep pool of water in the south end of Fall Creek gorge. Police identified it as that of the missing student. The body was found between the pedestrian suspension bridge and Stewart Avenue Bridge near the 800 block of Stewart Avenue. Firefighters, and the Ithaca and Cornell police and Bangs Ambulance, carried the body out through the Willard Way tunnel, part of a former 19th century industrial water mill, shortly after 1:30 p.m.
No foul play is suspected, according to police. The Ithaca Police Department is continuing the investigation, and anyone with information is urged to contact them at 272-9973.
About Khalil King
On August 31, 2010, several hundred people attended a candlelight vigil commemorating the life of Khalil King.
The Cornell Daily Sun reported that "King’s mother came out and spoke of her son: 'my pride, my joy, my reason for breathing.'" She said, “a lot of questions are still not answered,” and that she “will never be satisfied until those questions are answered” by either “something from the Cornell community” or from the “divine hand of God.”
According to the Sun, "Throughout the night, filled with poems, letters and songs for King, a picture of him emerged as a gregarious, multi-talented thinker and doer, willing to cross the lines of social convention....Friend Felema Yemane, Class of 2014, recalled going to different places with King, including the Cornell Democrats, Cornell Republicans and a socialist organization, and recalled a time when the two spent “three hours discussing abortion” in Willard Straight Hall. King was “open to other people’s ideas and thoughts,” Yemane said."
King was described as being the kind of friend "who would do anything for you at the drop of a dime." His many friends enjoyed his magnetic, perhaps even a bit quirky, personality. He was described as an “amazing artist,” who had once made a landscape of Ithaca appearing in the eye of his self-portrait.
King had recently transferred from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to the College of Architecture, Art and Planning.
King was a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, and a 2009 graduate of Independence High School.
Vice President Susan Murphy ’73 also spoke at the event, saying that the “best tribute we can give Khalil is to build those bridges across the communities he touched.”
She urged the crowd to “make sure you’re here for one another,” while admitting the difficulty of “trying to understand something that makes no sense.”