Regional
5:24 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

NMSU Las Cruces Police Continue To Investigate Student Death

Las Cruces – Police at New Mexico State University continue to investigate the Saturday death of a student on campus and have issued a statement to the NMSU community:

NMSU Las Cruces and DACC community:

On Saturday, October 29th, Eric Morris, a 23-year old NMSU student, died as a result of severe head and internal injuries. While the investigation remains ongoing, enough evidence has been found to indicate the death was accidental and not the result of a traffic crash nor an intentional action by another person. A combination of forensic, crime scene, and autopsy examinations point to this being a tragic event where a combination of recreational and prescription drugs may have affected Mr. Morris in a way that caused him to climb onto and fall from the roof of the Bull Barn without truly realizing what was happening.

Emergency personnel found Mr. Morris laying on the pavement a few feet from the sidewalk and directly in front of the Bull Barn on Knox Street when they responded to two 911 calls. He was barefoot at the time, and there was little external injury visible. Mr. Morris was transported to Memorial Medical Center and he was in the process of being prepared for airlift to a trauma center when he died.

A single set of bare footprints consistent with Mr. Morris were found going around the Bull Barn to a railing on the southeast corner, where marks indicate a person climbed onto the roof. Tracks lead from this point toward the peak of the roof (which is over 25' above the ground).

Mr. Morris' injuries upon autopsy are consistent with a person falling from a significant height. In addition, initial blood tests revealed the presence of recreational and prescription drugs in Mr. Morris' system when he arrived at the hospital, including PCP, cocaine, and marijuana.

There are still aspects of the investigation that remain open as the investigation tries to determine exactly what happened leading up to this incident. These include trying to find the shoes and shirt Mr. Morris was last seen wearing and finding out where he obtained the drugs. Anyone who sees (or may have seen) a pair of black Airwalk-brand shoes or a black t-shirt on or in the vicinity of campus, or who may know the source of the drugs, is asked to contact NMSU Police as soon as possible at (575) 646-3311.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.

Stephen Lopez

New Mexico State University Police Department

(575) 646-3311