Missing ECSU student found dead

POSTED: 12:24 PM Oct 02 2013   UPDATED: 6:56 PM Oct 02 2013
1002 Terry Leathers
ELIZABETH CITY, PASQUOTANK COUNTY -

The body of a student from Elizabeth City State University has been found in a canal in Pelican Point.

Terry Michael Leathers II, 22, of Roper, had been missing since Thursday night.

The Coast Guard searched the canal after personal items belonging to Leathers were found there. ECSU police chief John Manley says they found his body about 60 feet away from his personal items.

His mother, Alfreda Leathers, says Terry Michael was a religious man. "My son was spreading the gospel around the campus," said Alfreda.

Alfreda and her husband Terry Leathers Sr. say authorities told them drowning was the apparent cause of their son's death. "I can have some closure now and I know my child is at peace. I know that," said Alfreda. "When you lose a child, it's tough. And you go through a lot of emotions," said Terry Sr., who added he is trying to stay strong for Alfreda, as well as their other two children.

The Leathers' say they have found comfort in the stories from Terry Michael's friends, who have come forward with stories about their son. "He would go up to people he didn't even know and give 'em a hug, you know, how you doin' man," said Terry Sr.

"We do believe that he's in a beautiful, beautiful place," said Alfreda.

ECSU officials say they are still investigating and additional information is not yet available.

Leathers was studying mass communication at ECSU.