On May 13 of this year, 27 year old University of Michigan-Dearborn student Xianru Du went missing after being last seen in the Rouge River near Fair Lane Drive and Evergreen Roads.
Du’s body was recovered on May 20 by Dearborn Police, Michigan State Police and the Downriver Mutual Aid Dive Team.
Reports say that Du was in the water to help a female Dearborn Heights resident and friend, who had apparently fallen in and was unable to get out of the water.
In an email issued to the community, Chancellor Daniel Little stated “He was an esteemed friend of many other students and faculty in engineering, and was most generous in his desire to help and support his fellow students.” That desire was clear in his last moments as he sacrificed himself to help another.
Du was an International Student from China, studying at UM-Dearborn. He was working towards his Ph.D. in the College of Engineering and Computer Science in the field of information systems engineering.
The untimely death of a current student shook the UM-Dearborn community and support was given throughout campus for all affected by the loss. Along with a candle vigil organized by members of the Office for Student Engagement, personal support services were offered.