News Briefs

Police Believe Alum Zhou’s Death Was Suicide

An investigation into the death of Mengyao “May” Zhou ’04 is anticipated to be closed in the next few weeks, according to a press release from the Santa Rosa Police Department. Zhou was found dead in the trunk of her car in January in an apparent suicide. An official autopsy showed toxic levels of diphenhydramine, an ingredient in sleep medications.

Zhou’s father Yitong Zhou, however, remains skeptical of his daughter’s suicide. On August 16, Zhou hired a private pathologist to exhume his daughter’s body and perform a second autopsy. According to statements posted on his Web site,, the results of the second autopsy indicated his daughter’s death was “homicide” and the result of “multiple blunt force trauma.”

In response, an Aug. 23 press release from the Santa Rosa Police Department states that there were “no signs of trauma,” and that there is “no evidence of foul play.” The press release also describes a previously unreleased e-mail sent from May Zhou to her sister, on the evening of her death. The press release characterizes the e-mail as “a goodbye note.” Zhou has refused to provide the police department and media with a copy of the second autopsy.

—Nick Semenkovich