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Originally published: 2012-10-02 18:27:54
Last modified: 2012-10-03 11:18:25

ASU: Alcohol may have been a factor in student death

Alcohol may have been involved in the death of an Appalachian State University student found dead Saturday, ASU spokesman Hank Foreman said in an email Tuesday.

The body of Tyler Lee Blalock, 19, was found by a passerby around 8 a.m. Saturday in Kraut Creek within ASU's Durham Park.

An autopsy confirmed that Blalock died of accidental drowning, according to a university statement Sunday. Investigators believe Blalock was alone when he slipped at the edge of the creek, struck his head on rocks and fell into the water.

Investigators found no evidence of foul play, according to the statement.

It is not clear exactly what role alcohol may have played in the teen's death.

"Police continue to investigate to determine the extent it might have contributed to Saturday's tragic accident and are waiting for the results of a toxicology test to provide more details," Foreman said in a statement Tuesday.

Brad Putnam, assistant special agent in charge of the Alcohol Law Enforcement's Conover office, said he could not confirm whether the ALE was conducting an investigation.

"I cannot talk about a pending investigation," Putnam said Wednesday. "I cannot talk about another agency's pending investigation."

The ALE enforces state laws that deal with the sale, purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages in North Carolina, including underage drinking.