Body of Harvard Business School Student Found in Portland Harbor

UPDATED: May 22, 2012, at 5:49 p.m.

Harvard Business School student Nathan G. Bihlmaier was found dead on Tuesday in Portland Harbor after a search by police in Portland, Maine, according to Business School spokesperson Brian Kenny.

Bihlmaier, who was set to graduate from the Business School’s MBA program on Thursday, had not been seen since late Saturday night, when he was asked to leave Ri Ra Irish Pub at around 11:20 p.m.. According to Portland Police Department Lieutenant Gary Rogers, he had been celebrating his upcoming graduation with several classmates at the pub.

After the 31-year-old student did not return to his hotel room that evening, his friends called him on his cell phone at 12:15 a.m. early Sunday morning.

“He indicated to them that he was fine, that he was safe,” said Rogers. “Then his phone stopped taking messages.”

Rogers added that the last indication that Bihlmaier’s cell phone was working was at 12:54 a.m. Sunday morning, after which his friends reported him missing to the police.

“It was out of character for him to not be reaching out to somebody,” said Rogers.

The police searched the harbor near where Bihlmaier was last seen, and divers found an article of clothing belonging to Bihlmaier near the State Pier on Monday afternoon.

Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, during which he reported that Bihlmaier’s body had been recovered, according to Kenny.

“This is obviously a tragic event for [his family] and the Harvard Business School community,” said Kenny. “We would have wished nothing more than to have Nathan there to receive his diploma on Thursday.”

According to Kenny, Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria, who had traveled to Portland on Monday to aid in the search, made a statement at the police press conference expressing the Business School community’s grief and his condolences to Bihlmaier’s family, including his wife, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.

The police will continue the investigation to determine the cause of death, Kenny said.

Rogers said that though an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, there is no evidence at present of foul play.

—Staff writer David W. Kaufman can be reached at davidkaufman@college.harvard.edu.

—Check TheCrimson.com for updates.

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