UNH loses member of community, Vincenzo Lirosi


Rhianwen Watkins

A missing person alert reached UNH community members Saturday at 6:18 p.m. It was quickly followed by an email at 6:25 p.m., looking for student Vincenzo Lirosi, 22, of Massachusetts. A second email from President James Dean came in on Sunday around 6:14 p.m. bearing the tragic news that Lirosi’s body was found in the wooded area off Coe Drive that afternoon.  

“It is with very heavy hearts that we write to share that the search for Vincenzo Lirosi did not end as we had hoped,” wrote President Dean. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Vincenzo’s family and friends.”  

According to the missing person alert, Lirosi had been drinking with friends before going missing and was without a phone or any identification on him. It also stated that “ Lirosi took a path through a wooded area near Woodman Road, as a shortcut to his residence.” 

WMUR reported that Lirosi’s friend, Jordan Blanchard, was with Lirosi for part of the night at a bar. Lirosi left to go to a fraternity party where he allegedly got involved in an altercation. According to Blanchard, when the fight broke up, he was kicked out and told to go home, which was when he allegedly went into the woods. 

Blanchard also told WMUR that this was, “pretty uncharacteristic of him,” and that it was his first fight ever. 

Police began searching for Lirosi around 3 a.m. on Saturday when he was reported missing. The use of K-9, thermal drone and a helicopter were used to assist with the search. 

In a statement from Todd Selig, administrator for the town of Durham, Lirosi was found Saturday around 1:20 p.m. by a New England Search and Rescue K-9 Team. 

An autopsy will be conducted by the State Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death. 

Lirosi’s family has a GoFundMe to cover the cost of Funeral Funds. Their goal was to reach $5,000. So far in the three days the fundraiser has been active, they have raised $73,997. 

“All of this support is way beyond me and my mum’s wildest expectation. I literally cannot express how much this means to us and all of our family and friends,” said Lirosi’s brother, Giovanni Lirosi, on the GoFundMe page. 

“This is a very sad day for our community and right now we are focused on providing the support and resources needed for everyone who knew him or is impacted by his death,” said President Dean in his email on Sunday. “We ask all faculty and staff to be considerate of students impacted by this tragedy and offer accommodations for assignments and attendance.” 

Monday night at 5 p.m., a processing space was held in the Memorial Union Building for those who needed support. Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS) professionals were present to offer emotional guidance.  

Following the processing space, a vigil was held outside Thompson Hall at 7 p.m., where a large crowd gathered in remembrance of Lirosi. His friends spoke of their fond memories of him, candles were lit, and a prayer was led. Tears were shed and people hugged their friends. Even those who didn’t know Lirosi personally, were in attendance.  

“The support has been totally overwhelming and the presence, thoughts and prayers from everyone makes this easier to process for us,” said Giovani Lirosi. “Thank you all so much for everything.”