San Diego State Freshman Dies in Mysterious Circumstances After Allegedly Attending Fraternity Event

Joelle Goldstein
San Diego State Freshman Dies in Mysterious Circumstances After Allegedly Attending Fraternity Event

San Diego State University is mourning the loss of one of their first-year students after he tragically died after allegedly attending a fraternity event last week.

SDSU President Adela de la Torre announced the sad news in a letter to the campus community on Monday, four days after Dylan Hernandez was hospitalized, calling the 19-year-old freshman’s death a “devastating heartbreak” for his family and loved ones.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to say that Dylan Hernandez, the student who was hospitalized last week, has passed away,” de la Torre wrote in the letter. “His family gave their goodbyes late Sunday night. The family has given the university permission today to share this information, and we are working to support them during this incredibly difficult time.”

“As a mother, nothing can replace the profound loss of a child, and the devastating heartbreak the family and their loved ones are experiencing,” she went on. “All of us in the Aztec family are sending our prayers, and are here to support the family.”

De la Torre said Hernandez, whose cause of death has not been disclosed, was hospitalized on Thursday after San Diego State University’s Police Department (UPD) received a 911 call the morning after he allegedly attended a fraternity event.

“On the morning of Thursday, November 7, UPD received a 911 phone call to respond to a student in need of medical attention at a residence hall located in the 6100 block of Montezuma Road,” she explained. “University Police officers quickly arrived to the location of the incident and provided appropriate aid. The student was then transported to a San Diego area hospital.”

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Though the SDSU president did not disclose exactly what happened, she said the university’s police department had opened an investigation on Friday and were looking into “possible misconduct” by the fraternity.

Because of “the severity of this incident,” de la Torre announced that she was temporarily suspending the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and each of its 14 organizations.

“The university will keep the organizations under suspension while it considers next steps,” she said. “Each of us, including our students, must uphold the highest standards that do not put the health and safety of anyone at risk.”

In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for the North American Interfraternity Conference said, “We are heartbroken to learn of the death of the student at San Diego State University and offer our condolences to his family and friends.”

“The NIC has been in contact with university officials, and we are offering support and resources to the community and monitoring the investigation,” the spokesperson added.

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A graduate of Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida, Hernandez “was an outgoing, light-hearted and goofy person who had so much love to give to everyone he met,” according to a GoFundMe page set up in the wake of his death.

“He never failed to make everyone in the room smile and his laugh was infectious,” the description continues. “This is being created to raise money to help to create memorials for family and friends as a way to grieve, and remember Dylan for all the lives he was able to touch.”

Since the page’s creation on Monday morning, it has raised over $23,000.