DORSET, Vt. (NEWS10) – Vermont State Police positively identified the body recovered from First Marble Quarry Wednesday morning as 21-year-old Hadil Marzouq.
The cause of death was ruled a drowning. Police say they are still working to determine the manner of death.
As Vermont State Police continued the search for Bennington College junior Wednesday morning, it wasn’t long before Vermont state police divers located a woman’s body in the water at the back of the First Marble Quarry in Dorset where Marzouq’s car was found Sunday.
“We are still working on the positive identification but we also do not, we are not looking at anything to do with foul play at this point,” said Lt. Reg Trayah with Vermont State Police Bureau Criminal Investigations.
She was reported missing on Sunday after leaving her host family’s home in Bennington Saturday, but never returned. Vermont State Police search and rescue teams walked the area surrounding quarry where her car was found Sunday.
On Tuesday, after using an underwater robot, a Vermont State Police scuba team entered the 35-degree water but there was no sign of her.
“Very, very sad, and very confusing,” said her friend Melissa Levis.
Levis is devastated by what she calls an epic loss of this brave woman who she says left her country and family to pursue a desire for education with the purpose of helping others.
Levis met Marzouq during a research internship in Manchester at Levis’ family’s Museum of the Creative Process.
“She was lovely, she was courageous, she was smart, she was a real leader,” Levis said. “She was from Bethlehem and she considered herself Palestinian although she lives in Israel and she had gone to high school in Europe as part of a program for people who are very interested in religion and diversity and tolerance.”
Marzouq started at Bennington College in the Fall 2014. Now a junior, she was studying conflict resolution and public action. Levis says Marzouq was part of a recent effort to help Syrian refugees.
“Our family is working with Rutland Hospital and is very interested in resettlement of Syrians in Rutland and she felt very passionately about this and was looking forward to collaborating with the teams to help these refugees find a new home in Vermont,” Levis said.
A friend who says he worked with Marzouq during a research internship in Manchester says he talked to her Wednesday and they had a conversation about the turmoil in Aleppo and she seemed like herself.
“Hadil is very smart, analytical, creative, driven, and focused,” Maxwell Levis, of the Museum of The Creative Process in Manchester, said.
A Dorset neighbor says she saw Marzouq’s car as she was going to church on Sunday.
“It was parked in front and didn’t think anything of it,” Pam Marron said. “It was abandoned but I just thought well maybe people walk around here all the time.”
President of Bennington College Mariko Silver released this statement saying:
In her too brief time here Hadil touched all of us with her light, her friendship, and her determination to make our community the best it could be. Her friends, community, and the world will forever bear the imprint of our time with her.
The school says plans will be made for a campus gathering to honor Marouq’s life and legacy when students and faculty are all back on campus, after the Field Work Term.