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Cause of student's death remains undetermined

ALBANY -- Dougherty County Coroner Emma Quimbley said Brandon Schiff, 21, who was found hanging dead in a pecan orchard last week, most likely died by self-strangulation.

In an interview with a Herald reporter Monday, the coroner said she had yet to receive autopsy results, which will be used to determine Schiff's exact manner of death, but no foul play is suspected in the case.

Investigators said the 21-year-old Darton College student left a lengthy suicide note that was addressed to his mother and girlfriend.

Schiff was found hanging from a tree with a strap from a book bag around his neck at approximately 2:45 p.m. Thursday.

Police said that Schiff's body was discovered by a Mockingbird Hill Farms worker and was identified by his belongings.

According to Darton College Police, Schiff was reported missing on July 27 and was last seen riding his custom, 10-speed bicycle.

Schiff's mother, who had been in Albany searching for her son since he was reported missing, returned to her home in Cumming upon news of his death.

Just before he disappeared, Schiff was arrested for misdemeanor shoplifting from the Albany Target department store, court records show. On July 22, he is alleged to have stolen a $395 home entertainment center.