Prayer Service for Luther College student found dead - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Prayer Service for Luther College student found dead

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DECORAH (KWWL) -- Staff and students at Luther College grieved Monday morning at a prayer service for a student found dead New Year's Day.

Decorah Police say they received a report around 8 a.m. January 1 of an unconscious man near the Luther College softball diamond. When police arrived, they found the man dead.

A college spokesperson identified the victim as 24-year-old Luther College senior and Ghana native Nana Kwasi "Nabby" Baffour-Awuah.

Hundreds of people in the Luther College community gathered Monday morning in the campus Center for Faith and Life to pray, sing hymns and remember their friend.

One of the campus pastors, Mike Blair, said the large crowd Monday morning spoke to Baffour-Awuah's positive influence on his peers and the strong Luther College community.

"Any time there's a death of a young person, it's out of order," Blair said. "It's out of place, and so it's just much harder to students to navigate that, and that's why it's so good that so many of them were able to come this morning and to have a sense that they're not walking through this alone."

Baffour-Awuah was a senior studying business and economics, an RA, a box office attendant and a campus tour guide well-liked by his peers.

A display of roses lies at the softball field where his body was found Saturday morning.

This is not the first time Baffour-Awuah's family has experienced loss.

"Nabby's father died three years ago in January," Blair said, "so it's very difficult to have an anniversary like that and to have it compounded with an unexpected and sudden loss like this, the loss of a beloved son and brother."

What makes this more difficult for some is that one-third of Luther College students are currently studying off-campus, away from peers and the campus support network.

As of late Monday afternoon, the Decorah Police Department had still released no details regarding the cause of death. School officials said the body is undergoing an autopsy, performed by the Department of Criminal Investigation.

Baffour-Awuah's family members in Ghana are in the process of planning a more formal memorial service.

Online Reporter: Becca Habegger

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