UPDATE: MU researchers drown in Branson hotel pool

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | 5:30 p.m. CDT; updated 4:15 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 19, 2011

COLUMBIA — Two members of MU's Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences were found dead Sunday after drowning in a Branson hotel pool. The couple was associated with the department's Center for Translational Neuroscience.

Fanjun Meng, 29, was a visiting research scholar who began working at MU in 2008. His wife, Chunyang Zhang, 26, was a research lab technician.

Branson Police Department Detective E.J. Morrow said the couple were staying at the Days Inn on Keeter Street with friends. They left for the pool at about 9:45 p.m. and were discovered at approximately 12:30 a.m., according to a police department release.

People on the scene and EMTs tried to revive the couple using CPR but were unsuccessful, Morrow said.

Police did not find any signs of foul play, and the investigation is still ongoing, the release stated.

"We are extremely saddened by the loss of these dear colleagues and friends and offer our sincerest condolences to their family," Douglas Anthony, chair of the pathology department and director of the Center for Translational Neuroscience, said in a statement released by MU's School of Medicine.

According to the statement, counseling services are being provided for co-workers and colleagues.

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