Student identified in hotel death, U of U remembers Zhifan Dong

Feb 14, 2022, 12:48 PM | Updated: 1:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah released a statement after one of their students was taken into custody and another was found dead in a hotel in Salt Lake City Friday. The victim was identified on Monday as 19-year-old Zhifan Dong.

University of Utah President Taylor Randall released a statement where he described Dong as a first-year undergraduate student from Anyang, Henan, China. Randall expressed his condolences to Dong’s family and said they will decide the most appropriate way to remember Dong when her family gets to Salt Lake City in the coming days.

According to the release, “Along with many other students from her native country, Zhifan was a participant in one of the U’s global programs, known as Utah Global, which helps immerse first-year international students in the academic and cultural life of the university. We extend our support during this difficult time to all of our international students, particularly her peers in the Utah Global program.”

Dong’s death is still under investigation and police have taken another U student, 26-year-old Haoyu Wang, into custody indicating it may be considered a domestic violence situation.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to the Salt Lake City Police Department and University Police for their hard work and professionalism on this case,” Randall said in the statement.

Campus resources for U students can be found at safeu.utah.edu. Local and national support is also available from the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition hotline and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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