Body of missing University student found near TCF Bank Stadium

Keaton Patrick Murphy, a suspect in a child pornography case, was last seen leaving Hennepin County Jail on Jan. 20.
By
  • Daily Staff
January 27, 2011

The body of University of Minnesota student Keaton Patrick Murphy, who has been missing since he was released from jail last Thursday, was found in a boxcar on the far side of TCF Bank Stadium.

Murphy, 20, was arrested Jan. 20 and held as a suspect in a child pornography case. Murphy's family had expressed concerns that he might be suicidal.

"We’re worried sick," Rochelle Murphy, his mother, told the Daily on Saturday.

University Police Chief Greg Hestness said the police do not suspect homicide, and said autopsy results are forthcoming.

Several hours after the body's discovery, frozen, black blood coated the platform at the end of the boxcar, and was spattered in the snow surrounding it. Blood stains reached as high as several feet on the wall of the car, and were smeared on a ladder rung leading into it. A single handprint was visible in the blood-stained compartment.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, the police had not cordoned off the scene and no police were present.

The car belonged to Minnesota Commercial Railway. John Walsh, chief mechanical officer for Minnesota Commercial, said that he received a call from one of his customers Thursday morning telling him that he should come to the site. At the scene, Walsh spoke to detectives.

"The detectives really wouldn’t tell me anything, just the fact that there was a body in the end of a car and that it was under investigation, and that we would find information out later," Walsh said. "I confirmed to them that we wouldn’t run any trains by there until they’re done with their investigation.”

College of Liberal Arts Dean James A. Parente,  released a statement Thursday evening regarding Murphy's death.

"We’re deeply saddened to learn of Keaton’s death," Parente said. "Anytime we lose a student, it is a tragedy for our community. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his parents, family and friends."

-Ian Larson, Mike Mullen and Evelina Smirnitskaya contributed to this report.

Note: Minnesota Daily Editor in Chief Devin Henry explains Thursday's decisions regarding the photo that accompanied this story.

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