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Student, 19, sent final message before he went silent – only to be found dead FOUR WEEKS later

A 19-year-old student sent a chilling final text message to his gamer friends before his body was discovered sitting in a university dorm room four weeks later.  

Mason Pendrous was playing a strategy computer game with friends on August 24, the day after lectures had ended for the semester break, in his room at Sonoda, a residence building at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

He finished the match shortly before 10pm and sent a message to his friends joking about the result of the game they had played – the last time anyone would hear from him.

Concerns were raised by friends and family because none of them had heard from Mr Pendrous for four weeks, but on September 23, a university accommodation manager found Mr Pendrous’ decomposing body in his bed. 

Mason Pendrous was playing a strategy game with friends on August 24, the day after lectures had ended for the semester break, in his room at Sonoda, a residence building at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand (Mr Pendrous pictured with his stepfather, Anthony Holland)

Mr Pendrous’ family and friends are questioning how his body lay undiscovered for so long in accommodation where parents believe staff would be looking after their children.  

Mr Pendrous’ stepfather, Anthony Holland, told Stuff: ‘I need to know this isn’t going to happen to another dad.’

The delay in finding Mr Pendrous’ body has prompted several investigations. 

A Government-led review of the regulatory frameworks for student accommodation has also launched.    

The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Cheryl de la Rey, said: ‘It is inconceivable to imagine how these circumstances could have occurred.’ 

‘We are devastated by what has happened and extend our deepest sympathy to the family. This is an extremely distressing time for University students and staff. 

‘The University of Canterbury is doing everything it can to support the Police investigation into the tragic death of a New Zealand student in the Sonoda student accommodation.’

Police do not believe Mr Pendrous’ death was suspicious and the investigation has found no evidence of self-harm or drug use.  

Mr Pendrous was a tall and well-built man who boarded at a private school in Wellington as a teenager. 

He finished the match shortly before 10pm and sent a message to his friends joking about the result of the game they had played - the last time anyone would hear from him (pictured The University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand)

He finished the match shortly before 10pm and sent a message to his friends joking about the result of the game they had played – the last time anyone would hear from him (pictured The University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand)

He was an avid gamer and spent many hours playing video games both offline and online with his friends.  

Friends and students at his secondary school said the young man was friendly and outgoing. 

He moved to Christchurch in early 2019 to study e-commerce and was accepted into Sonoda student accommodation.

Mr Pendrous lived with at least three other students and paid about $400 a week for a five-bedroom apartment on the second floor. 

Mr Pendrous was struggling academically and it is unclear whether he made many friends while at university. 

After Mr Pendrous sent his last message to his friends, none of them were concerned about his well-being after they had not heard from him for a while. 

Mr Pendrous was known to play games offline for days at a time without contacting anyone.   

Concerns were raised by friends and family because none of them had heard from Mr Pendrous for four weeks, but on September 23, a Campus Living Villages duty manager found Mr Pendrous' decomposing body in bed at about 11pm

Concerns were raised by friends and family because none of them had heard from Mr Pendrous for four weeks, but on September 23, a Campus Living Villages duty manager found Mr Pendrous’ decomposing body in bed at about 11pm

When several weeks past with no contact, Mr Pendrous’ friends and his stepfather became worried. 

It was not unusual for Mr Pendrous and Mr Holland to not contact each other as he believed his stepson was independent.  

Mr Holland became worried after he was being pursued by CLV for unpaid bills.  

He tried contacting the university, but did not get a response, and asked one of Mr Pendrous’ friends in Auckland to figure out where his stepson was. 

The friend climbed over a roof and looked into Mr Pendrous’ room where he realised something was wrong.      

He contacted CLV staff who made the grim discovery. 

After Mr Pendrous’ death. the university and CLV said Sonoda will not cater to first-year students next year. 

Staffing has also been increased and additional security staff have been rostered on at night.  

Campus Living Villages has been contacted for comment.  

Mr Pendrous’ family and friends are questioning how his body lay undiscovered for so long in accommodation where parents believe staff would be looking after their children

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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