Deceased student’s friend speaks out

Shannon Mccarty

ISU senior Dane Schussler was remembered as the clown in his genetics classes. 

The 21-year-old’s body was found  near Union Pacific Railroad property between Brookside Park and Haber Road on Monday night. Schussler lived at Frederiksen Court apartments near the train tracks. 

ISU Police said no foul play was suspected, and official cause of death released today by the state medical examiner’s office found Dane to die from multiple blunt force injuries and has been determined as a suicide. 

Union Pacific Railroad spokesperson Calli Hite said two railroad employees headed eastbound saw an individual on or around the tracks around 9:30 p.m. and called in to the railroad’s response and dispatch department. Police were then notified by the railroad’s department. Hite said there is no more information about the incident at the time. 

ISU Police Deputy Chief, Carrie Jacobs, said the body was found on the tracks and had made contact with the train. 

Jeremy Schuster, junior in genetics and president of the Genetics Club, had many classes with Schussler for the last two and half years. The two were also members of the Genetics Club. 

Schuster said they often had fun when they were in class together.

“We were the clowns of the class,” Schuster said.

Schuster said, when he thought of Schussler, he always went back to their chemistry lab, where they were lab partners. Schuster said the two of them would often goof off together in class. 

“I don’t how many times I had to write my result section as inconclusive,” Schuster said of incomplete lab exercises.

Schussler liked to debate and joke with their lab TA, Schuster said. The two students first bonded over having both worked for Pioneer Seed. They even shared the same birthday.

Schuster said he had just seen Schussler the Friday night before his death at an ISU After Dark event.

“We were just playing bingo,” Schuster said. “He seemed fine.”

Schuster said he never saw any signs of Schussler being upset or stressed and that he was a relaxed guy who liked to crack a joke or two.

The two still hung out, Schuster said, but had grown apart some since Schussler was in the process of changing his major to industrial engineering.

“He told me the reason why he was switching is because he wanted more power and action done with what he was doing,” Schuster said.

Michaela Ramm and Makayla Tendall contributed to the story.