‘We Deserve the Truth': Parents of Cornell Student Found Dead Want Answers

Antonio Tsialas was a rising star at Cornell University.

The 18-year-old from South Florida excelled in his math and science courses. He had just become a campus tour guide. And he was recently chosen to play on a competitive club soccer team.

"He was always smiling, always excited about everything," his mother, Flavia Tsialas, told NBC 6.

In late October, investigators say Antonio was last seen at an on-campus fraternity event. He was supposed to meet his mother, who was in town for parents' weekend, the next day.

He never made it, his mother said, so she reported him missing.

Antonio's body was later found in a creek at a waterfall outside of the Cornell campus.

"He would never go by himself," his father, John Tsialas, told NBC 6 on Friday. "...I would think that he would be with someone, and that's the thing that's very confusing to us."

Weeks later, his parents are still looking for answers.

Police have said no foul play is suspected and they received over 150 leads in the case, but the circumstances around his death are still under investigation.

"These events, still under investigation, regrettably follow a pattern of misconduct in the Greek-letter system, a pattern that is emblematic of enduring problems that we, as a community, must recommit ourselves to solving," Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack said in a statement.

His parents never imagined this would be their son's fate. They shared a warning they have for students and parents.

"You always have to be on your guard, you can't be as trustworthy as you want to be, and be aware of your surroundings," John said.

They also called for a closer investigation into Cornell's Greek organizations.

"We deserve the truth," Flavia said.

For now, Antonio's positive shining light echoes throughout the communities he was a part of, both at Cornell and in Miami, where he graduated from Ransom Everglades School just this year.

Anyone who may have any information about the case is asked to call the hotline number (607) 280-5102 and remain anonymous if desired.

His friends have started a GoFundMe page, in which all funds raised will go directly towards the creation of the Antonio Tsialas Foundation for math and soccer scholarships.

Contact Us