Parent of slain student urges help in solving case

May 01, 2000|By DON AINES

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - Hundreds of students joined the family and friends of Sydney S. Bull Monday to say goodbye to the Shippensburg University student found murdered last week in Michaux State Forest.

"My hope for being here tonight was to come for Sydney's graduation, not Sydney's departure," his mother, Cecilia Hilliard Bull, told a crowd of more than 400 people in the University's Memorial Auditorium.

"We want to thank you all for your love and efforts to be here tonight," his father, Sigismond Bull, said.

Bull's mother asked students to "provide any and all information you have to the law enforcement agencies to help find the people responsible for taking Sydney's life."

The body of the 23-year-old senior marketing major was discovered early Tuesday by firefighters putting out a mountain fire off Hogshead Road in South Newton Township. Cumberland County Coroner Michael Norris said Bull had been shot in the head and then set on fire.


Pennsylvania State Police last week had dozens of investigators on campus interviewing students, trying to determine what happened in his last hours. Cumberland County District Attorney Skip Ebert said Thursday Bull was killed between 10 p.m. Monday and the discovery of his body four hours later.

A native of Sierra Leone, Bull have moved to this country about 15 years ago, living in several states before settling in Norristown, Pa. He transferred to Shippensburg University in 1997.

"I don't think anyone can appreciate or understand what happened to this family when Sydney was taken away from us," his mother said.

An uncle from Norristown recalled seeing Bull a few days before his death. "I'd like to stay, old man, but there's a lot of preparations I have to do for my finals," he recalled Bull telling him.

While family and friends wept openly in their tributes, the service was also a celebration of Bull's short life.

"We thank you for all the lives you touched," said the Rev. Marcellus Norris.

"Dozens of students have stopped and asked me 'Why?'" University President Anthony F. Ceddia said. "There is still much to find out and discover about Sydney's death."

As of Monday night, police had not made an arrest in Bull's death. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

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