A Southern California college freshman who was found unresponsive in a home near the University of California, Irvine in January died from “accidental acute ethanol poisoning,” authorities announced Monday.
Noah Domingo, 18, had a blood alcohol level of approximately 0.331 when he died around 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 12, according to a statement from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. No other substances were found in his system, a toxicology report found.
“The Irvine Police Department is actively investigating this case. At the conclusion of our investigation we will present our findings to the District Attorney’s Office, which will determine whether charges are warranted,” Lt. Mark Anderson said in a statement released Sunday.
Domingo was a first-year biology major who wanted to go into sports medicine, according to a GoFundMe set up for his family which has raised more than $37,000. He was also a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, according to the organization.
After his death, UC Irvine placed the fraternity on interim suspension pending the investigation. The fraternity’s national organization has since closed the university’s chapter indefinitely according to a statement released by the school.
“We remain shocked and saddened by Noah’s tragic death, and we offer our deepest sympathies to the Domingo family for their loss. His death brings an urgent focus on alcohol and substance abuse, from the cultural pressures that encourage unhealthy behavior to the policies designed to mitigate danger,” the statement read.
Dale Domingo, told CBS he believes his son’s death was the result of a fraternity hazing ritual in which “Noah was compelled to guzzle a so-called ‘family drink’ to become part of his big brother’s family.”
“We have discovered the horrifying truth about fraternity hazing,” Dale Domingo told the outlet.
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Contributing: The Associated Press
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