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Body of Missing American Student Found in Siberia

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"I'm taken aback by this."

Colin Madsen (Image source: Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs)

MOSCOW (TheBlaze/AP) -- Russian investigators say the body of an American student has been found on the outskirts of a Siberian village, a week after he vanished from a guesthouse in the middle of the night.

Colin Madsen (Image source: Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs)

A statement from the Investigative Committee said Colin Madsen's body was found Monday about 1.5 kilometers (a mile) outside Arshan, a resort village poplar for its mineral springs and proximity to mountains.

The statement said there were no visible injuries to the 25-year-old Madsen and that his documents and money had been left untouched. It did not give details of the terrain where he was found other than to say Madsen had "gone into the woods."

Madsen, of Jefferson City, Missouri, was a student at a university in Irkutsk. He came to Arshan on March 26 with friends who intended to hike to a mountain summit. But he left the guesthouse between 2 and 5 a.m., without a coat despite freezing temperatures.

The Investigative Committee said an autopsy would be conducted that would include tests for traces of alcohol or drugs. The statement said that investigators determined the group had used unspecified drugs on the day before Madsen's disappearance, but didn't elaborate.

"Colin, to my knowledge, did not do drugs," his aunt Annie Madsen told The Associated Press by telephone. "I'm taken aback by this."

Arshan is about 4,100 kilometers (2,500 miles) east of Moscow.

The State Department confirmed Madsen's death, but referred further questions to Russian authorities.

"We extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones," the State Department said in a statement, according to NBC News. "The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is providing consular assistance. Out of respect for Mr. Madsen's family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.‎"

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