A nearly six-month investigation into the death of San Diego State student Dylan Hernandez, who died after falling from his dorm room bunk bed, has been completed, the SDSU police department (UPD) said Thursday.
Hernandez, a 19-year-old freshman from Jacksonville, Florida, died at a College Area hospital in November, days after reportedly attending a Phi Gama Delta fraternity event on SDSU's campus.
UPD, with support from the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, concluded that "there was no basis to prove manslaughter charges because Hernandez's death was an accident." UPD said there was no witness or autopsy evidence supporting the existence of any criminal activity linked to Hernandez's death.
The UPD Investigations Unit interviewed witnesses, reviewed camera footage, and collected videos, pictures, and digital media that were posted on social media platforms.
"There was no basis to prove hazing charges because there were no injuries upon Hernandez’s body that appeared consistent with hazing, and no evidence of student group activities likely to cause serious bodily injury or death, which is statutorily required to prove hazing," the department said.
The medical examiner said Hernandez fell from an elevated bunk bed in his dorm and was helped back to his bed. Later that morning, 911 was called after his roommate determined he was not breathing and could not find a pulse.
Hernandez was taken to Alvarado Hospital and was pronounced dead the next night, Nov. 8, the ME report said. His manner of death was ruled an accident, and the cause was ruled to be accidental blunt force trauma to the head.
Now that UPD has completed its criminal investigation, SDSU will conduct an independent, administrative review and student-misconduct investigations. The review process will include investigating alleged misconduct by individual students and the Phi Gama Delta fraternity, SDSU said in a letter sent out to students.
UPD provided its final report to the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities as well as to the Student Life & Leadership organization for administrative review of alleged misconduct.
“We continue to send our deepest sympathies to the Hernandez family and to others who cared for Dylan Hernandez,” UPD chief Josh Mays said. “We have taken great care in our investigation, spending months interviewing witnesses, and analyzing information to fully understand what took place during the evening.”