A Mississippi State University student's body was found about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in a Critz Hall bed after being dead for almost five days.

 

The man is identified as Charles E. Osborn Jr. of St. Petersburg, Fla.

 

Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt said Osborn died of natural causes.

 

Osborn was a 52-year-old doctoral student majoring in agricultural and extension education. He graduated from MSU in 1970 with a master's degree. He had received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida.

 

The MSU Police Department and the Department of Housing and Residence Life became suspicious when residents of Critz Hall complained of an unusual odor Monday, MSU Police Chief John Moore said.

 

Maintenance was instructed to go into the residence hall and clean extremely well, but the odor did not cease. Moore said this left officials curious as to what could cause the odor.

 

MSU Police were advised to check Osborn's room. It was later determined by doctors Osborn had died sometime around Friday, Feb. 23.

 

Osborn was rushed to Jackson for an autopsy. Osborn's next of kin was then notified.

 

University officials said Osborn was a military veteran who worked in Mississippi before enrolling in graduate school at MSU last summer.

 

David Piccola, Osborn's neighbor in Critz Hall and graduate student in psychology, said, "He didn't seem like he was in the best of health."

 

Piccola says he remembers seeing Osborn a couple of days before his death.

 

"He was very cordial to me. We chatted the last day I saw him. It was the same old Chuck," Piccola said.

 

“We're [residence hall neighbors] not going to know each others' names five years down the line, but while we're here we want to establish some kind of daily consistency.

 

"Chuck's death threw us for a loop. We knew Chuck was there, but we never got a chance to sit down and get to know him, and now I guess we never will."

 

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Gee and Sorensen Funeral Home in St. Petersburg. The memorial service will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. Osborn is survived by his mother, Grace H. Osborn, of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and his daughter, Tricia Gail Osborn, of Philadelphia, Penn.

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