Police confirm body found in Lawrence belongs to missing student

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Police have positively identified the body found in Lawrence, Kan., on Monday to be that of the missing University of Kansas graduate student, Gianfranco Villagomez-Saldana. Searchers had been looking for Villagomez, who was reported missing on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Police said around 1:30 p.m. Monday they responded to a call in the 830 block of Avalon. When they arrived at the home they discovered a body in the grass behind the house matching the description of Villagomez-Saldana.

Police said they do not believe foul play was involved. An autopsy will be performed Tuesday.

Villagomez-Saldana, 23, is a University of Kansas graduate student from Peru. Friends say he left a home near 9th and Michigan Street early Saturday morning and intended to walk to his girlfriend's home located near 11th and Mississippi Street. The location where the body was found is the opposite direction of where Villagomez-Saldana's girlfriend lives and just two blocks from where he was last seen.

Friends of Villagomez reported him missing at approximately 7:00 p.m. Saturday after he did not return to his apartment. Friends said it is extremely unlike him to be out of touch with everyone.

"This is very unusual for him. He always lets me know where he's going to be," said Donna Harkrider, girlfriend. "He is the sweetest, most wonderful person. I tease him all the time that he's just too nice to everybody."

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