Suicide probed in Diaspora co-founder’s death

15 Nov 2011

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A medical examiner’s office is investigating suicide as the possible cause of death of Diaspora co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy over the weekend, following a police investigation.

CNN Money reported that the police department in San Francisco, California, responded to calls about a possible suicide on Saturday night. The case has been referred to the medical examiner’s office, where the coroner will determine Zhitomirskiy’s cause of death, which could take several weeks.

Diaspora, a social networking rival to Facebook, has not commented on how Zhitomirskiy (22) may have died. The company has paid tribute to him on its homepage, and issued a statement.

“Ilya was a great guy. He was a visionary, he was a co-founder of a company that hopes to bring a better social networking experience,” said Peter Schurman, a Diaspora spokesman. “We are all very sad that he is gone. It is a huge loss for all of us, including his family.”

A memorial site for Zhitomirskiy has been set up at