British Columbia

Missing B.C. professor Ramazan Gencay found dead in Colombia

A British Columbia professor who went missing in Colombia earlier this month has been found dead. Ramazan Gencay was an economics professor at Simon Fraser University.

Gencay, an economics professor, went missing in Colombia earlier this month

Ramazan Gencay was discovered dead near Medellin, Colombia in December. Local authorities have now made arrests in connection to his death. (University of Guelph)

Family and colleagues of a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., who went missing in Colombia say he has been found dead.

In a statement to faculty and staff on Wednesday, university president Andrew Petter said Colombian police recovered the body of Ramazan (Ramo) Gencay outside of Medellin. 

Petter told CBC News in a statement that the economics professor will be sorely missed. Petter said he sends heartfelt condolences to Gencay's family, friends, students and colleagues.

"Everyone at Simon Fraser University will be saddened by the tragic news of Professor Gencay's death," Petter said. "He was an outstanding contributor to the university community."

Gencay's wife, Carole Gencay, posted a short statement on Facebook on Thursday confirming her husband died this month.

"You may already know that he suffered an untimely death in Medellin, Colombia. I will be in touch with celebration of life details," she wrote.

Gencay was in Colombia to attend seminars. His wife has said he was last seen at a salsa night club on Dec. 6.

His friends and family turned to social media earlier this month to spread the word that he was missing.

Global Affairs Canada said a Canadian citizen has died in Colombia and consular services are being provided to the person's family.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of a Canadian citizen who died in Colombia," spokesperson Philip Hannan said in a statement.

"Canadian consular officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information."

Arthur Robson, a colleague of Gencay's in the economics department, recalled him fondly. 

"Ramo was a gentle scholarly man, a prolific researcher, who deserved a better fate," Robson said in an email. 

Petter's statement to university employees says there are numerous support services available for students, faculty and staff.

"I know how distressing this news is for the SFU community, and I wish to reassure everyone that we will continue to do everything we can to support Ramo's family at this sad and difficult time," he said.

With files from CBC News