Memorial service Sunday for Shannon Jones, Cornell student killed on Thanksgiving

February 25, 2015 by Mark H. Anbinder

Friends of Shannon Jones, a Cornell University student killed in Cayuga Heights on Thanksgiving Day, have invited her family, friends, and the Cornell and Ithaca communities to a memorial service this Sunday afternoon.

Cayuga Heights police arrested 32-year-old Benjamin A. Cayea on one count of murder in the second degree on Thanksgiving following what was described as a domestic incident.

A statement from Cornell University at the time said the 23-year-old Miss Jones had been "a member of Professor Mason Peck’s Violet student satellite project team." The statement quotes Professor Peck as saying, “Shannon had an infectious enthusiasm for exploring space and building our future in it. She helped figure out how to make Violet’s star tracker work, and when Violet launches next year and takes its first images of the stars, we’ll have Shannon to thank for it.”

Organizers are gathering a "visual diary with pictures and memories of Shannon" for the service, and encourage her friends to contribute photos or thoughts via e-mail to or

Counseling resources remain available for community members affected by this and other recent events. Students can consult with counselors from Gannett Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) by calling 607-255-5155. Employees can call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program at 607-255-2673. The Ithaca-based Crisisline is available at 607-272-1616. For additional resources, visit

Sunday's memorial gathering will take place at Sage Chapel beginning at 4pm, and the service will be followed by a reception.

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