November 27th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

Man arrested in death of missing college student

[Updated at 6:40 p.m.] A man who had a relationship with college student Jenni-Lyn Watson was charged Saturday with second-degree murder after the discovery of a body believed to be hers, authorities in Syracuse, New York said.

A massive manhunt for the woman, who'd been missing since November 19, culminated with the discovery of what are believed to be her remains at 10:30 a.m. Saturday near Clay Central Park in North Syracuse, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office said.

Watson, 20, and Steven Pieper, 21, had dated on and off for 18 months, said District Attorney William Fitzpatrick at a Saturday press conference.

"Our indication is Ms. Watson desired this relationship to end in early October ... Apparently that message didn't get through to Mr. Pieper," Fitzpatrick said.

Authorities believe Watson was killed in her residence in Liverpool, New York on the morning of November 19 and that her body was taken to a heavily wooded area a couple miles away.


[Original post - 4 p.m.] A body discovered in a heavily wooded area near Syracuse, New York, is believed to be that of missing college student and ballerina Jenni-Lyn Watson, authorities said Saturday.

The remains were found by searchers at 10:30 a.m. near Clay Central Park in North Syracuse, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

More details were to be given at a press conference scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday.

Watson, 20, of Liverpool, New York, was last seen November 19 at her family's home, said Sgt. Robert Marshall of the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office. Watson was home on a Thanksgiving break from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Liverpool is a suburb of Syracuse.

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Filed under: New York
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Munk

    Assisted Suicide. Let's move on please.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. peter

    So terribly distressing, I am so sick of people doing such things to others, Someone kill this guy legally or not asap. He deserves no better. God help and comfort this young girls family!

    November 27, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Danielle

    Rest In Peace Beautiful young women

    November 27, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cabo wabo

    man! i am so over men stalking and murdering women! espcially their wives/gf's/ex's. their egos are so huge and they are so consumed by their wants and desires, they will take the like of a woman who doesnt like them anymore. obviously there was a reason this woman didnt want to see this chuckle head anymore he was waving his red flag of psychosis and she must have seen it. its insane that women cant choose to end a relationship and live. self-defense for all is a good idea, unfortunately its hard to defend yourself against a crazy person tho. in indiana, a woman only gets 6 to 8 yrs for killing one of those freaks. seems like it mite be worth it. i met with some women doing time for just that and they seemed quite satisfied with the outcome. so i guess the moral is, kill them if the situation seems to warrent it, so that you may live to see another day, as they will not stop until they get what they want.

    November 28, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. phil@cabo wabo

    Are you referring to Muslims again? Or do you now see that it is your fellow American who really terrorizes US?

    November 28, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. kay

    Murder is a terrible thing for this family to have in their memories of their beautiful daughter; I am sure the arrest of the suspect can help in a small way, but now this family like so many others is now in a "club" they never wanted to be a part of; "the family of a murdered child". My deepest sympathy to them.

    November 28, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. Hmm?

    Why don't all my comments post? I'm not printing anything vulgar or disrespectful.

    November 28, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. eenereid

    This is dumb. I actually have a decent comment to post and yet CNN allows someone to inject race or terrorism into this blog. Who's doing the moderating on here?

    November 28, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. PepeLePew

    Yes you're an angel I suppose mon a mi

    November 28, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Veritas

    Thoughts and prayers go out to this lovely girls family and friends. she's in a better place where evil does not exist

    November 28, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. rekojothtaed

    I agree. The lucky ones are off this planet.

    November 28, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. bbyshake

    All my blessings go towards this girl its ashame how people get murdered by someone while they was in a relationship. And the murderer doesnt even notice NO think on how much this effects other people but not just that on how it effects you. Sometimes the felling never even go away so for this article all my blessings go to her and her family and im glad they found out who killed her and sentnced him for that!

    November 28, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. rekojothtaed

    I think kids should be given courses on how to deal with psychotics in relationships. Young people are being groomed to be dysfunctional. Both men and women are losing their grip on sanity. Love should be simple not complex. All the games and cheating that go on make me sick. My heart goes out to this girl's family.

    November 28, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Kate Purdy

      Totally agree, also believe self-defense should be mandatory for all females, provided by public and private schools and businesses for employees.

      November 29, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Babygirl

    Wow.. that's sad this happened to her. But at least they found the guy

    November 28, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. RT

    I have 3 beautiful granddaughters and this scares me! My prayers go out to the family.

    November 28, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
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