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Plymouth State mourns tragic loss of Jake Nawn

By Benjamin Hunton and Elizabeth Barden
On November 17, 2015


Today, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, just before noon time, the body of fellow PSU student Jake Nawn, 23, was found in the Pemigewasset River a third of a mile south from the Common Man Restaurant.

Nawn went missing around 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12. He was last seen outside of the Common Man Inn. Prior to the discovery, the Plymouth Police Department and New Hampshire Fish and Game conducted a three-day ground search that yielded no results.

Plymouth Police Chief, Stephen Lefebvre said “the police started with the initial call, which would have been Thursday evening. They searched locally. It was a little bit difficult because it was dark and rainy that night. We did search the immediate area.”

“The following day we requested help from NH Fish and Game.” Lefebvre continued. “Search and Rescue is one of their main purposes and they are very good at it.”

Friday’s search was lead by Ltn. Jim Nealon from the NH Fish and Game. The search included K9 search units, kayakers, and other ground resources. “We utilized every ground resource that we had available to us to search for him that day,” said Lefebvre.

All ground searches were ceased at the conclusion of the search on Saturday, Nov. 14. “We had searched all the areas where we thought he may have been.” said Lefebvre.

The next day, Sunday, Nov. 15, it was reported that Nawn may have been seen at Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness. “Fish and Game had searched the Rattlesnake Trail and the whole mountain with K9 units and it did not result in any findings,” said Lefebvre.

Along with the Plymouth Police Department and New Hampshire Fish and Game, friends and members of the PSU community made efforts on social media, organized group search meetings and left their favorite books in the woods with messages for Nawn. “If Jake is going to pick up anything in the woods,” said Nawn’s close friend, Briana Coykendall, “it would be a book.”

Coykendall spearheaded the search group, and she and her friend’s were moved by the support fellow students showed in search efforts. “We really appreciate everybody for working so hard,” said Coykendall.

“It’s really incredible to see how many people came out and tried to help. So many people that don’t even talk to each other,” said Vanessa Calabrese, another one of Nawn’s close friends who was involved in starting the search group. “It’s clear to see how much love Jake brought to everyone”

The President’s office sent out an email, this afternoon, informing the campus community of the tragic loss of Jake Nawn describing him as “a member of our Plymouth State family.”

Plymouth State University is hosting a candlelight service tonight at 6 p.m. in the HUB Fireplace Lounge. All campus members are welcome to attend.

If you, or a peer, needs additional support, please contact PSU’s Counseling and Human Relations Center. Hours are Monday and Tuesday, 8 7 p.m. and Wednesday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. When the center is closed, Genesis Behavioral Health in Plymouth is available to respond to those in crisis or urgent need to speak with someone. Their phone number is (603) 536-1118.


The Clock expresses its deepest condolences to family, friends, members of the Plymouth community, and members of the Holden, MA community and surrounding area.

Photo Credit: Brianna Coykendall

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