The unexplained death of Seattle-area college student Crispin Scott in Spain over the weekend was an emotional blow to those at University Prep, where Scott graduated in 2009.

Share story

Staff and students at Seattle’s University Prep school were stunned and saddened by word that a promising 2009 graduate was found dead Saturday in the Barcelona, Spain, area where he was studying abroad while attending Dartmouth College.

Crispin Scott, 20, “was just an incredibly bright student who carried that capability with great humility,” said Erica Hamlin, head of school at University Prep, an independent school in Seattle’s Wedgwood area.

Spanish authorities have said there was no immediate indication of foul play in the death of Scott, whose body was found in an apartment, but they would not disclose details of the investigation.

At University Prep on Tuesday, “Everyone is grieving with the family,” Hamlin said. “We are a small community, and we know not only the students but their families as well.” The school has a total enrollment of 510 in grades six through 12.

Hamlin said Scott, who spent much of his youth in Japan where his father was working, came to University Prep as an eighth-grader. While at University Prep, he studied in Japan for a semester and was fluent in Japanese and participated in a variety of school activities, Hamlin said.

Hamlin said Scott’s older brother, Robert, graduated from the school in 2008. “It’s a wonderful family, and I don’t even want to imagine what they’re going through,” she said.

An Associated Press account, citing an unnamed police spokeswoman in Spain, said Scott had gone out Friday night in Barcelona but later in the evening left the city with companions.

Scott was a Dartmouth student, but was abroad on the Academy of Liberal and Beaux-Arts (ALBA) program run by Portland State University.

Charles Grant, director of the program, told The Dartmouth, a student-run newspaper, that on Friday evening, Scott was at a “large gathering of ALBA students — 40 or more — at an upscale seafront hotel, which devolved into smaller groups.”

He said that Scott was with several friends, and that all except Scott returned to their own apartments. On Saturday, after Scott failed to show up for an ALBA orientation session, police were notified, Grant said.

“I have no idea how they conducted the search, but [Scott’s] body was apparently found in an apartment — not one of ours — some way from the original hotel location later that day,” Grant said. He said Spanish police have said “there did not appear to have been any physical violence and he appeared to have died in his sleep.”

A Facebook page of the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club carried a statement saying, “With heavy hearts, the DRFC mourns the untimely loss of one of our own. Our thoughts are with Crispin Scott’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or jbroom@seattletimes.com