Boston University graduate student found dead in Turkey from apparent fall

boston university

A third-year doctoral student at Boston University working on an archeological survey project in Turkey has died in an apparent fall, the university said Friday.

Chad DiGregorio, 26, of Upton had set out alone Thursday on a day off to go hiking about an hour north of the village of Tekelioglu, where the project is based.

“It’s an area where there’s steep and rugged terrain,” said BU spokesman Colin Riley. “Apparently, he slipped and fell from a height that killed him.”


When DiGregorio did not return for dinner Thursday evening, colleagues grew concerned and ­reported his disappearance to local authorities, Riley said. They were able to locate DiGregorio by the GPS signal in his phone.

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A search-and-rescue team found his body.

DiGregorio’s academic adviser, Curtis Runnels, said DiGregorio was respected and admired. “He was incredible, not just as a student, but as a person,” said Runnels, who has worked with ­DiGregorio since 2008. “In a 40-year professional career, I have never known a student who had so much academic promise, such intellectual gifts, and who was also such a wonderful person.”

Runnels added in an e-mail: “The pain of his loss goes far beyond the bounds of his loving family and is felt by a wide circle of friends, teachers, and colleagues.”

DiGregorio’s family declined to comment.

Sarah Mattero can be reached