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Missing student found in Charles River

Was bound with chains, weighted with cinder block

Miles Smith, a longtime friend and roomate of Jonathan Dailey (at right), gave a statement to the press on Tuesday. Smith said he could think of no one who would want to harm Dailey, who had gone missing on Oct. 2.

KAYANA SZYMCZAK FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Miles Smith, a longtime friend and roomate of Jonathan Dailey (at right), gave a statement to the press on Tuesday. Smith said he could think of no one who would want to harm Dailey, who had gone missing on Oct. 2.

A man found dead in the Charles River Tuesday morning near the Boston University Bridge has been identified as graduate student Jonathan Dailey, who had been missing for a week, the ­Suffolk district attorney’s office said.

“The facts and circumstances surrounding Mr. Dailey’s death ­remain under investigation by State Police detectives assigned to the Suffolk DA’s office,” Jake Wark, a spokesman for District ­Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said in a statement Tuesday evening. “We rule out no possibility, and we promise Mr. Dailey’s family a thorough, comprehensive search for the truth as we investigate his death.”

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A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told the Globe earlier Tuesday that the body was bound with chains and weighted down by a cinder block. But the district attorney’s office said in its statement, “We will not be discussing evidence recovered at or near the scene of this morning’s recovery effort.”

Wark said Dailey was identified from dental records.

Dailey Family

Jonathan Dailey

Investigators are trying to determine whether he was a victim of foul play or that something else led to the death, including suicide, said the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is under investigation.

Neither the cause nor manner of death had been determined yet by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Wark said.

Dailey, 23, a North Carolina native who was taking a semester off from course work at ­Boston Architectural College, had been missing since Oct. 2. He was reported missing on Oct. 5.

Miles Smith, Dailey’s longtime friend and roommate, said, “I’m speechless,” during brief comments outside the two men’s apartment Tuesday evening on Gardner Street in ­Allston.

Asked what it was like to lose the hope that Dailey might be alive, he said, “I worked hard to hold on to that for as long as I could. And once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Smith also said he could not think of anyone who might want to harm Dailey. “He’s very charismatic, a great friend to all he met.”

In an interview earlier Tuesday, Smith had said that he and his friend bonded “over indulg­ing in adventures. He’s an Eagle Scout, and we both love adventure, but we always prepare.”

Smith said the last time he and Dailey went on such an adven­ture was several weeks ago, to Maine. They visited a gorge where they camped, swam, and cliff-dived. The last time he saw Dailey was the evening of Oct. 2 in their Allston apartment, after Dailey came home from work.

Dailey had a slice of pizza and sat down with Smith to watch an episode of “The ­Office.” They chatted about how their day went and then Smith went to bed at about 9 p.m.

Smith said it was out of character for Dailey to simply disappear.

Dailey worked as a sales asso­ciate at American Apparel on Brattle Street in Cambridge. Dailey and Smith earned bacelor’s degrees in architecture from Appalachian State University in North Carolina.

They were in their second year of graduate school, but both were taking a semester off. Smith described Dailey as very creative and intelligent, with an eccentric side.

Dailey’s sister and brother-in-law could not be reached Tuesday night. But they told the Globe Monday night that they were holding out hope that he may have just needed solitude and sought the peace of the outdoors.

They said they had prayed for his return and that several Boston-area churches, a nonprofit group, and many individual volunteers had helped with efforts to locate him.

According to State Police and the district attorney’s ­office, a Boston University rowing coach spotted the body in the water at around 7:25 a.m. Tuesday.

It was the second body to be found in the Charles River in as many days.

On Monday, the body of a 62-year-old man was found at about 8:15 a.m. near the Boston University boathouse. Authorities have said they do not consider his death to be suspicious.

Globe correspondent Derek J. Anderson and Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Brian Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter
@GlobeBallou.
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