Karageorge, 22, had last been seen leaving his apartment on East 7th Avenue at 2 a.m. Nov. 26, reportedly telling his roommates he was going for a walk. Family and friends continued to search for the 6-5, 285-pound former Ohio State wrestler and a missing persons report was filed with the police Thanksgiving Day.
The team first became aware of Karageorge’s absence when he missed practice later that same day.
Police were able to track Karageorge’s phone to the intersection of West 3rd Avenue and Elmwood Avenue in Grandview Heights later that morning but did not recover the phone at the time.
Ohio State's department of athletics released a statement Sunday that read, "The Ohio State University Department of Athletics was shocked and saddened to learn today of the death of student-athlete Kosta Karageorge, a senior from Columbus. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Karageorge family, and those who knew him, during this most difficult time."
Defensive tackle Adolphus Washington had gotten to know Karageorge over the last three months.
"That’s been real hard," defensive tackle said after the game vs. Michigan yesterday. "It was so weird because we were all joking around at practice the day before he went missing. When he was there, we were all joking around. When he didn’t come to practice, we were like, ‘Maybe he’s at wrestling or something or he has something to do.’ Nobody thought anything of it. The next day everybody kept asking if we’d heard from Kosta because he didn’t come in to lift, and I was like, ‘No, I haven’t.’ We heard from his girlfriend that he went for a walk and just didn’t come back. I honestly think … Kosta’s a tough dude and I don’t think anybody did anything to him. I hope nobody did anything to him."
The Buckeyes defeated Michigan 42-28 yesterday, a day that Karageorge was scheduled to be introduced with his fellow seniors. Instead, pictures of Karageorge were shown on the video boards after Senior Day ceremonies.
“It’s very tough,” Washington said after the game. “Kosta was one of those guys that went out there and did whatever was needed. If we needed a look as a D-line, he’d go play offense so we could get that look. Just to have that type of guy that’s dedicated and willing to do whatever it’s take to win, it’s hard to move on throughout the week and we don’t know where he is. It’s one of our brothers, and that’s just hard.”
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett added, "Hopefully he didn’t do anything to himself because he’s a strong guy, he’s a smart guy. I think he was in a good frame of mind, but I didn’t hang out with him too much outside of football. But I’m just nervous because football was really important to him. His family, his girlfriend and wrestling were important to him. Hopefully he was somewhere watching this game. We got the win for him.”
In a statement released Friday afternoon, head coach Urban Meyer said in part, "He is a young man who joined the football team in August and was a hard worker on the field and pleasant off the field. He has been an important player in practice for us, right up until the time he was reported missing."
The Thomas Worthington High School graduate wrestled for Ohio State for three years and walked on to the football team this fall. He had a history of sports-related concussions, his family told reporters.
“First and foremost, our primary concern is for the health, safety and welfare of Kosta,” team physician Jim Borchers said in a statement Friday. “While we are not able to discuss or comment about the medical care regarding our student-athletes, we are confident in our medical procedures and policies to return athletes to participation following injury or illness.”