Skip to main content

New Details Emerge On Investigation Of SDSU Student’s Death

Dylan Hernandez in an undated photo uploaded to GoFundMe.

Credit: GoFundMe

Above: Dylan Hernandez in an undated photo uploaded to GoFundMe.

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

A report from the San Diego Union-Tribune found that the police did not interview key potential witnesses to the death of Dylan Hernandez.

Aired: January 22, 2020 | Transcript

A report published in the San Diego Union-Tribune calls into question the thoroughness of the San Diego State University Police Department’s investigation into the death of 19-year-old Dylan Hernandez after he attended a fraternity party.

Hernandez died Nov. 8, 2019, following an event hosted by the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. At some point during the night, he fell out of his bed at his dorm in Tenochca Residence Hall. He was found unconscious the next morning and was pronounced dead the following day.

The medical examiner’s office later identified the cause of death as blunt force injuries of the head. It remains unclear whether alcohol was a factor.

RELATED: SDSU Student Injured During Fraternity Event Dies

Reported by Joe Hong , Video by Roland Lizarondo

According to the Union-Tribune, which obtained a copy of the investigative report through the Hernandez family’s lawyer, university police did not interview any members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity despite finding videos on Hernandez’s phone depicting violent hazing and excessive drinking.

The Union-Tribune notes that the police did not seek warrants for students’ cell phones or social media records despite possessing suspicious text messages between fraternity members.

In an email to KPBS, university police spokeswoman Raquel Herriott said the investigation report received by the family is not complete.

“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,” Herriott said. “Details of the incomplete report, released late last year, were not meant to be shared with the public as it compromises our ongoing investigation.”

The Hernandez family’s attorney George Kindley could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Herriott also emphasized that the investigation is still open and is awaiting “further leads” like the toxicology report and the final autopsy report.

In the meantime, University Police is asking anyone with more information about Hernandez’s death to contact them immediately at policeinvestigations@sdsu.edu or by calling (619) 594-1991.

Listen to this story by Joe Hong.

Photo of Joe Hong

Joe Hong
Education Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an education reporter, I'm always looking for stories about learning. My favorite education stories put a student's face on bigger policy issues. I regularly sift through enrollment data, test scores and school budgets, but telling student-centered stories is my top priority.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.