SDSU police respond to criticism of investigation into student's death

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SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State University police have spoken out after family members of a student who died in November raised questions about the handling of the investigation into his death.

Nineteen-year-old Dylan Hernandez died from a head injury after falling from a bunk bed in his dorm, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.

Hernandez had attended a fraternity event the night before his morning fall.

According to a report by the San Diego Union Tribune, a report of the investigation suggested campus police did not interview anyone from the fraternity in question and did not seek search warrants for cell phone or social media records before concluding there was not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges.

"They had intent to investigate the fraternity, but it looks like they didn't do it as strongly as they maybe intended to, or people expected them to," said SDSU student Jack Molmud, who works for the student-run newspaper The Daily Aztec.

The university's police department released a statement Sunday afternoon, saying in part:

"The San Diego State University Police Department (UPD) is aware of recent coverage that has brought specifics of the ongoing investigation into the death of Dylan Hernandez into the public space. The preliminary, incomplete police report was provided to a representative of the Hernandez family in an effort to be as supportive and transparent with the family as possible during a difficult time for them as they are mourning the tragic loss of their loved one. Details of the incomplete report, released late last year, was not meant to be shared with the public as it compromises our ongoing investigation and can hinder witnesses from sharing information."

Back in November, SDSU suspended all activities for the 14 fraternities that make up its Interfraternity Council after the incident. But as a new semester is about to kick off this week, students are questioning what's next.

"I feel like everybody wants to find out what's going to happen to fraternities," Molmud said. "Within the first few weeks of every semester, fraternities go and recruit. All houses go and recruit. Are we gonna see fraternities up and down the walkway here with their tents and their logos saying we're trying to get freshmen and sophomores to join our fraternity? I don't know."

SDSU campus police said on Jan. 23 they had received a copy of the Medical Examiner's report on Hernandez's death and would continue moving forward with their investigation.

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