Missing B.C. professor Ramazan Gencay found dead in Colombia

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Family and colleagues of a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., who went missing in Colombia say he has been found dead.

In a statement to faculty and staff on Wednesday, university president Andrew Petter said Colombian police recovered the body of Ramazan (Ramo) Gencay outside of Medellin. 

Petter told CBC News in a statement that the economics professor will be sorely missed. Petter said he sends heartfelt condolences to Gencay’s family, friends, students and colleagues.

« Everyone at Simon Fraser University will be saddened by the tragic news of Professor Gencay’s death, » Petter said. « He was an outstanding contributor to the university community. »

Gencay’s wife, Carole Gencay, posted a short statement on Facebook on Thursday confirming her husband died this month.

« You may already know that he suffered an untimely death in Medellin, Colombia. I will be in touch with celebration of life details, » she wrote.

Gencay was in Colombia to attend seminars. His wife has said he was last seen at a salsa night club on Dec. 6.

His friends and family turned to social media earlier this month to spread the word that he was missing.

Global Affairs Canada said a Canadian citizen has died in Colombia and consular services are being provided to the person’s family.

« Our thoughts are with the family and friends of a Canadian citizen who died in Colombia, » spokesperson Philip Hannan said in a statement.

« Canadian consular officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information. »

Arthur Robson, a colleague of Gencay’s in the economics department, recalled him fondly. 

« Ramo was a gentle scholarly man, a prolific researcher, who deserved a better fate, » Robson said in an email. 

Petter’s statement to university employees says there are numerous support services available for students, faculty and staff.

« I know how distressing this news is for the SFU community, and I wish to reassure everyone that we will continue to do everything we can to support Ramo’s family at this sad and difficult time, » he said.

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