ASU ends student death investigation
by Kellen Moore
In a news release Friday evening, the university shared more details about the circumstances surrounding the death of the 19-year-old from Charlotte.
Interviews with several of the teen's friends led police to believe that Blalock attended a party off campus around 8 p.m. Sept. 28 and was in a "somewhat intoxicated state," according to the news release. He later purchased beer at a local store and returned to the party.
Around 11:30 p.m., he left the party with friends for a nearby bar, police said. Witnesses reported to police that Blalock appeared very intoxicated. Blalock left the bar around 2 a.m. and was last seen walking toward campus.
The medical examiner has concluded that Blalock's death occurred around 2:30 a.m. Sept. 29 and was caused by an accidental drowning, according to the university. University police said previously that they believed Blalock was alone when he fell at the edge of the creek and hit his head on a rock.
A walker discovered Blalock's body face down in Kraut Creek within ASU's Durham Park around 7:55 a.m. that morning.
The ASU Police Department "found no signs of a struggle or injuries to Blalock other than a cut on his forehead," the news release stated.
A wallet in Blalock's pants contained two IDs with conflicting information. One was a university AppCard with his name, while the other was a North Carolina driver license belonging to another person.
Other documents in the wallet led police to believe the victim was Blalock, although the photo on the license also bore a strong resemblance to him, according to the news release. A family member was contacted to positively identify the body at Watauga Medical Center.
University police have shared information with the N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement, which is "conducting an independent investigation to determine if any alcohol laws were violated," according to ASU.
Brad Putnam, the assistant special agent in charge for the Conover ALE office, said Wednesday that he could not say anything about a pending investigation.
In the news release Friday, Appalachian State administrators reminded students of ASU's "It's Up to Me" initiative, which encourages students to say something if they observe behavior that could put them or others at risk. More information is available online at http://appcares.appstate.edu/
Funeral services were held Thursday in Charlotte for the teen, a former lifeguard who was studying sustainable development.