A 19-year old student at Wesley College in Dover committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree near the campus Oct. 17.


A 19-year old student at Wesley College in Dover committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree behind his dorm early Oct. 17, according to a report from Dover police.

Officials at the college identified the victim as Charles Conley, a freshman from Edison, N.J.

Police said a passing motorist called 911 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Oct. 17 after discovering the victim in an alley between the 200 block of North Governors Avenue and Bradford Street.

Detectives found a suicide note and suspect no foul play or criminal activity.

Conley lived in Thomas C. Roe Hall, a dormitory steps away from where his body was found, said Wesley Dean of Students Mary Alice Ozechoski.

"It's a tragic loss for the college. It's been a sad couple of days," Ozechoski said.

A day after the incident, students and faculty held a candlelight vigil on campus in honor of Conley, who played on Wesley's football team.

Dr. Patricia Dwyer was teaching Conley in a one-semester class for students who had not declared their majors.

She said he was a good student who always came to class. In the days before he took his own life, Dwyer said neither she nor any of the students in Conley's class noticed anything amiss in his behavior or mood.

Recently, Conley made a breakthrough in the class and had decided to pursue a field of study that would allow him to work with children, like his mother, Dwyer said.

"He was very warm, very fun—good sense of humor," Dwyer said. "I was really very touched that he wanted to do something that he felt some passion for."

Ozechoski wouldn't comment on what could have driven Conley to commit suicide.

"I don't think we ever know why a 19 year old would choose to end his life," she said. "The kid had a big heart and lot of character."

Ozechoski said Wesley is chartering buses to transport students to the viewing and funeral for Conley on Thursday, Oct. 21, and Friday, Oct. 22,  at Rose of Sharon Community Baptist Church in Plainfield, N.J.