​Jessica Fingers Dead From Overdose At Columbia University

Author: Michael StevensBy:
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April 1, 2013
Also: Columbia University, Dead, Jessica Fingers, Jessica Fingers Dead, Monticello High School

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Jessica Fingers was found dead in a dorm room that belonged to a student at Columbia University early Sunday Morning. The 21-year old entered Columbia University with a full scholarship and a bright future.

Police say that she died of a possible overdose, which surprised everyone that knew her as the former track star at Monticello High School, known for her Catskills.

The doomed young woman’s boyfriend — who does not attend the prestigious Ivy League college — made the horrifying discovery, a source said.

“I woke up and the love of my life was dead next to me,” Peter Russell, a self-described freelance tattoo artist, wrote on his Facebook page sprinkled with photos of the smitten couple embracing. “My life is over . . . Shes gone so i have nothing to live for . . . ”

An autopsy to determine the cause of Jessica Fingers’ death is pending. But police believe she overdosed, and no foul play is suspected, sources said.

Fingers, who had taken a leave of absence from college after the spring 2012 semester, had been visiting a friend at the dorm, said Kevin Shollenberger, the university’s dean of student affairs.

It was not clear why she left Columbia last year, and university officials declined to comment Sunday night.

But the troubled young athlete appears to have suffered last year from a series of blood clots in her brain and a stroke, according to her mother’s Facebook page, which includes photographs of a smiling Fingers in a hospital bed.

“My beautiful, strong daughter, Jessica is making a speedy recovery after her stroke,” wrote Athena Fingers-Bellamy on Feb. 6, 2012.

Several months later, Jessica Fingers wrote on her own Facebook wall that she was starting to recover — yet hinted at a possible source of her health problems.

“My brain blood clots dissolved!!!” she wrote May 10, 2012. “I care about my body so much and yet I was treating it so bad.”

Her stepfather, Robert Bellamy, said Sunday night that Fingers had recovered from the stroke and was cleared to return to school.

A cross-country and distance runner, Fingers had been recruited to become a member of Columbia’s women’s varsity track-and-field team, the Middletown Times Herald-Record reported in 2008.

Fingers ultimately earned a full scholarship to the university.