INDIANAPOLIS — Police are continuing to seek answers about what happened to an Indianapolis man who was killed on a trip home after his first semester of college.

In December 2019, Rodney Mitchell came back to Indianapolis after his first semester of college at Manchester University. He spent time with his family before heading out from his grandmother’s house in the late evening on December 7.

That would be the last time anyone would see Mitchell alive. Two days later, someone found him along the banks of the White River, dead of some apparent trauma.

Gone, but not forgotten

Mitchell was a student at Irvington Community Schools. He was known to be kindhearted and a friend to all.

“We’ve had a lot of kids come through here, and Rodney, he stood out among them,” said Assistant Principal Garrett Uhlman.

He had a positive outlook on life, despite what was happening in the city around him.

“In this world and the society we already have enough things against us. For a young man to achieve one part of his goal as graduating high school and making it out of the area he was growing up in and to go to college he showed it could be done,” said Randy Ballard, Dean of Students. “I know he tried. I know he was trying to do what was right and was leading by example.”

Then the light that the faculty said Mitchell brought to the school was snuffed out.

“I’ve been a teacher for 11 years this is my first year as an assistant principal. they don’t teach you how to deal with this in any college course,” said Uhlman. “It really feels like a light has been taken away from us.”

In the Spring semester following Mitchell’s death, Manchester University held a memorial service in his honor.

Continued search for answers

More than two years after Mitchell was found dead on the banks of the White River, police continue to search for answers.

Anyone with information about what happened to Michell is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.

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