The body of a 20-year-old Oglethorpe University student has been recovered from the waters off Costa Rica, the school announced on Jan. 7.   Oglethorpe junior Erik L. Downes, 20, of Cape Coral, Fla.,  was reported missing Jan. 4 after swimming off Playa Dominical in Costa Rica, the school said.

Downes traveled to Costa Rica as part of a short-term study abroad trip, the school said.

“Erik was a shining star with unlimited potential and a kind heart,” said Oglethorpe President Lawrence M. Schall. “This is a great loss to our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Counseling services will be provided to Oglethorpe students as they return to campus from winter break on Jan. 9, the school announced.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.