At 3:00 am on Sunday morning, Pittsburgh native Joseph Dado was seen leaving a local fraternity house en route to his dorm.
He wasn't seen or heard from after.
Monday afternoon, helicopters and policemen searched the Penn State campus for the missing freshman. By 6:00 pm on Monday evening, Dado was found dead in an exterior stairwell on campus.
Dado had died of severe head trauma. His death was ruled an accident from an autopsy performed on Tuesday.
Dado's death has critically impacted the student community in many ways. It not only opened our eyes to the seriousness that can come from drinking, but also reminded us that we (Penn State) are a family that needs to look after one another.
In response to Dado's death, a quote appeared in the campus paper from President Graham Spanier, stating, "Each of us has a fundamental obligation to tend to one another's needs. We study and work together; we play together; we weep together."
I completely agree with this statement and I believe that following this accident, others do as well.
Even people that didn't know Dado personally were heartbroken over what happened.
"It makes me sick to even think about it. I feel horrible for his family and my prayers are with them. You never think that things like this happen, but they do...and it's tragic," said Shawna Piolita.
Dado's two sisters, Nicole and Natalie, also attend Penn State.
"We cannot begin to express the gratitude we feel towards everyone in the Penn State community who assisted in the search for Joe," the family wrote in an e-mail to the campus paper. "He was such a kind and generous person and your effort was the best way to honor his memory."
Dado's roommate, who knew him for a few years prior to attending Penn State, said that everyone loved Joe.
"He was the jokester and always loved to have a good time."
He also said that Dado invited numerous people to join his parents' tailgate for the Temple game last weekend.
Dado was a die-hard Penn State football fan. He loved attending the games and tailgates with friends and family. With another big game right around the corner, the Penn State family remembers and honors Joe.
It is no question that the 18-year-old Dado will be missed by many.
Friends of Dado say that it will never be the same without him. This unfortunate accident will be on the minds of everyone as we go head-to-head with the Hawkeyes this weekend.
The Penn State Nittany Lions will undoubtedly have Dado in mind while playing out the rest of their season.
Our hearts go out to Joe Dado's family and friends.
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