Student found dead after apparent suicide, police say

By Gus Bode

Student found dead after apparent suicide, police say

25-year-old’s body found Thursday morning

An SIUC student’s body was discovered Thursday morning after what authorities are calling an apparent suicide.


David C. Casiano, 25, 303 West College St., was reportedly found dead by a hunter along Campground Road in Giant City State Park. He died of asphyxiation after reportedly attaching a hose to his exhaust pipe and feeding it through a window.

Officials at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office were not able to release any information Sunday and said the incident is still under investigation.

Ranise Ruggeri, Casiano’s girlfriend for about seven months, said she did not notice anything wrong when he left her home the night before.

“Dave told me he was going to get beer,” Ruggeri said. “He left here with a smile on his face. He didn’t even give me a kiss goodbye. It was just weird.”

Ruggeri said the couple had seen “The String Cheese Incident” earlier in the evening, and they had decided to stay in for the night. She said she was still waiting for him and wondering what was wrong at 4 a.m. She said she knew something was wrong when she drove by his house and did not see his truck.

“The next morning, I went looking for him, and went looking for him, and drove all around, and called police stations,” Ruggeri said. “I called hospitals. I went to the hospital in Carbondale. I went to the liquor store to try to look at video surveillance and no one had seen him.”

Ruggeri said Casiano was very generous, caring, compassionate and genuine, and the two planned to move into an apartment together this summer. She said he was very smart and was interested in art, traveling, computer engineering, computer animation and electrical engineering.


“Dave loved to dream,” Ruggeri said. “For some reason, every morning, when we would wake up, he would tell me about his dreams. He had the coolest dreams you could ever imagine.”

Reporter Greg Cima can be reached at [email protected]