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'Beloved' Virginia professor found dead at gay men's sauna after vanishing from conference

AVERETT University dead gay professor David Hanbury
via Averett University

Averett University psychology professor David Hanbury, 37, was found deceased Saturday at the popular gay men's sauna Club Orlando.

After disappearing during a conference in Florida, a Virginia professor has been found dead at a popular men's sauna.

David Hanbury, 37, was a professor of psychology at Averett University, a private Baptist university in Danville, Va. He was reported missing late Friday night while attending the Southeastern Psychological Association Conference in Orlando.

Hanbury was found deceased Saturday at Club Orlando, a famous men's sauna, though law enforcement did not disclose where in the facility. The cause of death has also not been verified, but Orlando police told USA Today that the circumstances "did not appear suspicious."

The university praised Hanbury's legacy in a Facebook post announcing his passing, referring to him as a "beloved faculty member" who had a "lasting impact" on those around him.

"It is with a heavy heart that we share the heartbreaking update of the passing of Dr. David Hanbury," Averett President Tiffany Franks wrote. "On behalf of the entire Averett community, we send our condolences and prayers of support to Dr. Hanbury's family, friends and all others upon whom he had a lasting impact."

Hanbury's brother, JJ, said in another post to Facebook that his brother was "not a partier" and that his family became concerned after he had not returned their calls nor reached out to their mother, who JJ said Hanbury usually spoke to multiple times a day.

"We're all struggling and this is so hard. I've never seen through anything like this," he wrote. "I don't know what I am going to do without my youngest brother that drove me insane all the time but my world will never be the same without him. He was only 37 and supposed to be with me for life."

A vigil was held for Hanbury Monday on Averett's Student Center lawn. Franks wrote, "As we grieve as one family, we invite the campus and surrounding area to join together for a time of prayer and support."

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.