A distraught student left her elite high school in Harlem between classes on Thursday, classmates and witnesses said, and went to Fort Washington Park, along the Hudson River. She laid her phone and wallet on a rock on the bank of the river. She walked into the water and sank beneath the surface. See more pictures after the cut…..
The police on Saturday said they were looking for a female who went into the water on Thursday near the park, but did not identify her. As of Saturday evening, search teams had not recovered a body.
Classmates identified the girl as Omotayo Adeoye, 17, a junior at the High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College. She left the school after she was confronted by a teacher who believed she was cheating on a test, a close friend and a person briefed on the matter said.
Miss Adeoye was sitting in the back of a German class during the test when her teacher noticed her using her phone, they said. The teacher confronted Miss Adeoye and took away the device.
A Police Department boat on the Hudson River on Saturday passes near where witnesses say a high school student disappeared.
Miss Adeoye “said she was sorry,” said her close friend, Nhia Solari, who was also in the class. “The teacher said she was going to tell the dean that she was cheating,” Miss Solari said.
The students shared the next class, too, Miss Solari said, “but I didn’t see her after that.”
Miss Adeoye was described as an excellent student. She played basketball and soccer. She was one of three students selected last summer for a research fellowship at City College’s Grove School of Engineering.
On Facebook, her friends left warm messages.
“You were a very intelligent and funny girl,” Natasha Kowlessar wrote on Facebook. “Whether you were joking about chasing cheetahs, making memes or trolling college pages, you never failed to make those around you laugh.”
On Saturday a group of three men and two women, who said they knew Miss Adeoye, went to the edge of the river to pay her tribute. They declined to comment or be named.
Just offshore, a blue-and-white police boat sat anchored much of the afternoon. A smaller, gray police boat traced the shoreline, past picnickers and joggers, from 145th Street to the George Washington Bridge.
Outside the High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College in Harlem on Saturday. Classmates and witnessess say a student, Omotayo Adeoye, left school on Thursday and disappeared in the Harlem River.
A city parks employee, who declined to give his name, said the scene on Thursday was chaotic, as police officers and firefighters ran after a fisherman who frantically pointed to where he saw Miss Adeoye disappear.
“This happens a lot here,” he said. Fishermen in the park on Saturday said they had seen the girl place her belongings on the rock, then walk into the water wearing all her clothes.
Fabio Martinez, 71, a fisherman, said he tried to stop her.
“I said, ‘Come here, come here, don’t go to the water,’ ” he said. “She was just crying, crying all the time.”
Omotayo Adeoye is now the 14th public school student to commit suicide this academic year, according to New York City’s Department of Education.