Jessica Fingers, 21, of Monticello, N.Y., was found dead in a Columbia University dorm last Sunday. According to reports, she may have died from a drug overdose. She was found face up on the floor of a friend’s room in the university’s East Campus Residence Hall, in Manhattan, about 11:45 a.m.
Jessica, who was a sophomore sociology major, had been on a leave of absence from the university since last year. The student, who entered Columbia University with a full scholarship, was a former track star at Monticello High School in the Catskills and had been a runner on the university’s cross-country team before she took her leave of absence to deal with blood clots.
“It is with deep sadness and regret that I write to inform you of the untimely loss of one of our students who has been on leave from Columbia but visiting campus at the time of her passing,” said Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger.
It is believed that the young woman and her boyfriend, Peter Russell, had been doing drugs, but still the city medical examiner has yet to determine a cause of death.
Jessica’s mother, Athena, said in an interview with the Daily News, that her daughter had been visiting New York frequently to visit her boyfriend.
“I never liked him,” Athena Fingers said. “He influenced the decisions she made in the last few months. He wasn’t good for her. She said she was in love, that’s why she wanted to go into the city all of the time, to visit him.”
Russell, a self-described freelance tattoo artist, was the one who found Jessica’s body. The couple met at a party in Manhattan and had been dating for 10 months. Peter wrote on Facebook:
“I woke up and the love of my life was dead next to me.”
“My life is over… She’s gone so I have nothing to live for… Bye.”
In reply to this, a man who is believed to be Jessica’s brother, Tyrell Fingers, posted a menacing threat:
“F— u peter im coming for ur life,” he posted using the name Flacko Ty.
He also said:
“N she was not goin to marry u let alone she didn’t. Want to live wit u she was jus doin it cuz u had no where to go u n dat she felt bad cuz u was her bf at da time until skool started u was goin to b gone u kno old news”
To which Russell answered:
“Sure she did tyrell i had a place to live she asked me to move in with her… She told me she loved me night and day and talked about having my babies and growing old together”. And then he added: “Screw all this fb s**t im going to mourn my sweetheart and thats it …im not worried about any of you she would be mad at me for carrying on this stupid argument, she deserves to rest in peace, im going to miss her every day and i am glad i had the privilege of her being a part of my life being with her were the best moments i have ever had and i love her more than words can say.”
Find Jessica’s profile on Facebook here. Find her boyfriend Peter Russell here.
Find Tyrell Fingers on Facebook here.