Person who died in Ithaca gorge identified as Cornell freshman

Claudine Rigal
Août 6, 2017

Cornell University is offering their sympathies to the family of an incoming freshman who drowned in Ithaca Falls this weekend.

Perez Ventura' was born in the Dominican Republican and came to the United States when he was 9 with his mother, according to ABC News 7 in New York City.

Police were called to Fall Creek Drive around 2:30 Saturday afternoon. His high school classmates celebrated his Cornell acceptance, which was captured in a video that made regional headlines.

The search was focused on the area of the Fall Creek gorge west of the Cornell University campus and above the Ithaca Falls, near Stewart Avenue, after a swimmer went missing, say officials.

Winston was in Ithaca with fellow incoming students participating in the on-campus pre-freshman summer program and was planning to study at the university's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, according to Lombardi.

"He was an exceptional person who would have contributed greatly to our university community".

The victim has been identified as Winston Perez-Ventura.

Just this morning, the Ithaca Fire Department issued a reminder of "the dangers of swimming in our gorges".

"The Ithaca gorges are so, so attractive but they can be very risky if folks don't obey the posted signs".

"People are expected to follow signs that prohibit swimming and trespassing", says the Ithaca Fire Department. "The signs are in place for no other reason than to keep folks safe when they enter our gorges", said Acting Chief of Police Pete Tyler.

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