Minnesota teen found dead at North Dakota State University dorm
FARGO -- North Dakota State University students woke up Sunday to a sobering sight -- a red Cass County coroner’s van parked on the sidewalk in front of Sevrinson Hall on the university campus.
A 17-year-old male, believed to be a high school student from a Minneapolis suburb, died on Sunday, Sept. 17, at Sevrinson.
NDSU police received a call shortly after noon on Sunday that there was an unresponsive male at the residence hall. Paramedics responded and tried to revive the teenager but were unsuccessful.
Mike Borr, director of the University Police and Safety Office, said the deceased was not an NDSU student. Borr did not release the victim’s name or cause of death.
It is unknown whether alcohol or drugs were involved. There were no apparent signs of foul play, Borr said.
An investigation into the cause of the death was still ongoing. The lead agency in the investigation was the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. NDSU police, Fargo police and the Cass County coroner were also participating. Attempts to reach a spokesperson for the BCI on Sunday were unsuccessful.
Residents who knew the deceased said he was a high school senior from Burnsville, Minn., and had been staying with a friend on the seventh floor of Sevrinson Hall for the weekend.
Nick Harrom and Brandon Wright, both 18 of Bemidji, Minn., who live on the sixth floor of Sevrinson, said they are friends with a suite-mate of the student the deceased was visiting. They said they hung out with the deceased on Friday night and saw him at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.
They said many students had been drinking but that the deceased seemed fine at the time.
“He didn’t seem unusual,” Harrom said. “He was still sitting up, still talking, still functional. There was nothing out of the ordinary.”
Both said they saw the deceased and his friend at the JCI Musical Festival, featuring T-Pain, on Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field at NDSU. They stopped briefly at the friend’s room early Sunday morning before going back to their room.
Wright said that when the deceased’s friend woke up on Sunday morning, the victim’s “lips were purple” and he couldn’t wake him, so he immediately called for an ambulance.
Many students walking in and out of Sevrinson Hall on Sunday seemed shaken by what had happened, and the presence of a coroner’s van in front of their dorm.
Although there was no official word that alcohol was involved, Harrom said, “It makes you take a step back. Everybody says don’t drink. But nobody knows what to do once you start drinking.”