Freed-Hardeman student presumed dead in the Dominican Republic - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Freed-Hardeman student presumed dead in the Dominican Republic

A Mid-South student is missing and presumed dead after taking a missionary trip during his spring break.

By phone Thursday, Freed-Hardeman University media relations coordinator said 19-year-old Shane Ruiz was swept away by a strong under-current as he waded in three feet high water at Playa Grande beach in the Dominican Republic.

"The students we have been in contact with are completely devastated," she said.

The Olive Branch native was spending his spring break with a campus social club on a mission trip.

Ruiz has been missing since he was swept out to see, and is presumed to be dead, leaving a university community in grief.

"He was loved on this campus, just really appreciated" Freed-Hardeman student Caley Newberry said. "He was a musician.  People loved that about him, so its going to be a tragic thing on campus for awhile."

Students plan a tribute for Ruiz on Monday.

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