Missing student's body found

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- A 21-year-old Darton College student found hanging dead in a pecan orchard Thursday was an apparent suicide, said an Albany Police Department official.

"Brandon Schiff was found at approximately 2:45 p.m. hanging from a tree by a Mockingbird Hill Farms worker," said Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman. "He was identified by his belongings."

Schiff's mother, here since Tuesday from her Cumming's home near Atlanta was searching for her son. She was told of his death, Banks said. She returned to her home almost immediately upon hearing the news.

Schiff was last seen 7 p.m. Sunday night on the custom, marathon 10-speed style bicycle he built himself. The dormitory resident was reported missing Tuesday, according to Darton College Police.

There was no note at the scene, Banks said. The motive for the suicide was not known, she added.

The body was sent from the 1900 block of Oakridge Drive to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab for an autopsy. Once that is done, police could know how long Schiff was dead.

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