By: Michelle Gomez, News Team Member
Three weeks after going missing in Colombia, SFU economics professor Ramazan “Ramo” Gencay was found dead.
Gencay travelled to Colombia to attend seminars at the EAFIT university (universidad escuela de administración y finanzas y tecnologías), and was scheduled to speak at an event on Nov. 28. According to Global News, his last known whereabouts were at a salsa club in Medellín, Colombia on December 6, and he was spotted on camera at a hotel with several other people at 10:30 p.m.
On December 13, SFU posted a statement about Gencay’s disappearance on their website.
“We have not been contacted by authorities at this time and we do not have further information beyond what has already been publicly shared by his family,” the statement read.
SFU went on to note that they were “providing support” to Gencay’s family, and that the school intends to aid the investigation however possible.
Gencay’s body was recovered outside Medellín on December 24, and was identified using dental records on December 27.
According to CTV Vancouver, Global Affairs Canada confirmed earlier in December that the department knew that a Canadian citizen had disappeared in the city, and are currently attempting to get more information regarding the death.
Marianne Meadahl, assistant director of SFU communications said in an email to The Peak that SFU has not been involved with the investigation.
SFU president Andrew Petter released a statement on December 27, saying “everyone at Simon Fraser University will be saddened by the tragic news of Professor Gencay’s death. He was an outstanding contributor to the university community and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”
In an email sent by SFU Communications on behalf of President Petter, he noted “I wish to reassure everyone that we will continue to do everything we can to support Ramo’s family at this sad and difficult time.” The email also lists resources available to affected faculty and students, including the Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) for faculty and staff, Health and Counselling Services for students over the phone at 778-782-4614 (9 a.m.–5 p.m), and 24/7 support for students through My SSP.
Gencay’s daughter Rana also made a Facebook post. “He was a man who travelled the world over, from hitchhiking through Europe in his youth to travelling to dozens of countries and lecturing at world-renowned universities,” Rana’s post read.
“His love for learning has inspired many at SFU and will inspire me to learn more and more everyday.”
His dance instructor, Nina Perez, told The Star Vancouver that he was a dedicated student who “would always have something positive to say.” She noted that “it was a genuine pleasure to have him around.”