The flag at Dartmouth College is flying at half staff as the community mourns the loss of 24-year-old Mike Lomakin.
"All I really have now are positive memories and that's probably what I should be focusing on," said Spencer Hatch, a classmate of Lomakin.
But for Hatch there are still too many questions surrounding his close friend's mysterious death. "Doesn't add up," he said, shaking his head.
State police discovered the graduate student's body in the southbound lane of Interstate 91 early Saturday morning. They believe he was run-over by at least two cars. Those drivers told police they thought he was an animal lying in the roadway. As investigators search for the initial car that may have hit Lomakin, his professors and friends are left grieving and wondering what led to his death.
"The faculty of course are shocked because it's almost like the students are our children and so it's difficult to deal with," said Robert Caldwell, a professor of physics and astronomy.
Lomakin graduated from the University of Massachusetts and was recruited to pursue a masters in physics at Dartmouth. He was one of 14 first year students -- and many of his colleagues say he was one of the brightest.
"He had come to us really well recommended so we had great hopes for him," Caldwell said.
"Outdoors and physics and that was kind of Mike," Hatch said.
Now a single ivory candle burns in his memory outside Wilder Hall. His classmates are working with police to create a timeline of Lomakin's final hours. They say the last time they saw him was at a small party Friday night and they're baffled by his death.
"I don't think any of us know like what the heck was he doing on the interstate. No one knows. I don't think," Hatch said.
Police refused to speak to us on camera or answer any questions about the investigation, but his friends hope they'll find some answers for Lomakin's loved ones.
"His family I feel like are the ones that need the prayers and the answers most of all because he was their little boy. He was an only child if I'm not mistaken," Hatch said.
"The physics graduate students will be holding a candlelight vigil for Lomakin Monday night at 6:30 outside of WIlder Hall on campus.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-16 04:07:42 GMT
Rain, flooding and now snow. This weather rollercoaster is causing problems all around our region. Temps have dropped so the heavy rainfall has switched to snow. Rivers are spilling their banks, roadsMore >>
Rain, flooding and now snow. This weather rollercoaster is causing problems all around our region. Temps have dropped so the heavy rainfall has switched to snow.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:08:37 GMT
Flood warnings are in effect around our region as heavy rains begin to move through. There is already localized flooding at some of the typical problem spots, like the wrong-way bridge on Route 15 inMore >>
Parts of our region are already flooding and others are bracing as heavy rains move through. Not only is rain falling fast, but warm temperatures Monday melted snow, adding to high waters.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:06:00 GMT
A man had to be pulled from the Black River in Springfield Tuesday morning. The Hartford Fire Department says it's working to pull a man out from the river. They say he got stuck about 75 feet out inMore >>
Vermont emergency workers have rescued a man stranded in the middle of a treacherous section of river in downtown Springfield. More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:02:17 GMT
The sex crimes trial of a former prison guard has been delayed. Jury draw was scheduled to begin Monday for Richard Gallow. He is charged with sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct on a femaleMore >>
The sex crimes trial of a former prison guard has been delayed.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:27 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:27:17 GMT
Arson at the Albany Fire Department was an inside job. On Tuesday former firefighter Elmer Joerg pleaded no contest to setting the blaze. Investigators say the former volunteer was caught on camera settingMore >>
An arson at the Albany Fire Department was an inside job.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:26 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:26:03 GMT
There was a plea deal for a man who triggered a 5 hour standoff in Newport last fall. Derek Niles pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment Tuesday. He got a deferred sentence and will be on probationMore >>
There was a plea deal for a man who triggered a 5 hour standoff in Newport last fall. More >>