Student found dead in room

Sean Joseph

The door of student Melanie Scheinberg in suite 3H of Engleman Hall was closed yesterday while reports of a death circulated the hall.

Credit: Andrew popik

An Engleman Hall resident was found dead by her roommate in their apartment yesterday morning.

Melanie Scheinberg was found at approximately 10 a.m. in her third-story room, said Scott Rainone, assistant director of University Media Relations.

Scheinberg, 20, was a junior early childhood education major from Monroeville, Pa.

She had been an active participant in Hillel Jewish Student Center since the first week of her freshmen year, said Jennifer Chestnut, director of Hillel. She was at the center Friday night for a traditional Sabbath meal and helped lead funny Jewish songs afterwards.

“Melanie was always friendly, funny, sweet and nice,” Chestnut said. “Not in a sticky sweet way, but in a really genuine happy way.”

Scheinberg’s body was taken to Robinson Memorial Hospital where she was officially declared dead, said Thomas Decker, chief investigator of the Portage County Coroner’s Office.

At the scene it appeared that Scheinberg had taken her own life, Decker said. Foul play was ruled out immediately. No autopsy will be performed.

Scheinberg had not approached Hillel to talk about any current issues in her life, Chestnut said.

A traditional Jewish funeral is held within 24 hours after death except in extreme circumstances, Chestnut said. No official arrangements have been announced yet, but a funeral will tentatively be held Friday in Pittsburgh.

Last night the Hillel house canceled a party that had been scheduled and hosted a gathering for students to get out their emotions, Chestnut said. The living room was crowded with students and sobbing could be heard through the walls of the house.

“Everyone right now is having so many mixed emotions, and we’re trying to provide a place for students to come when they don’t want to be alone,” Chestnut said. “Students’ reactions were a mix of shock, deep sadness and disbelief.”

A rabbi will be at the Hillel House, located at 202 N. Lincoln St., from 1 to 4 p.m. this afternoon to counsel people of any faith, Chestnut said. Hillel is not sure what it will do as a group to commemorate Scheinberg, but it invites anyone to come to the house to talk.

Contact safety reporter Sean Joseph at [email protected].