An online petition is calling for an investigation after a 19-year-old Washington State University was found dead last week, allegedly after a traumatic hazing incident.
According to The Spokesman-Review, Luke Morgan Tyler’s body was discovered at WSU’s Pullman campus on January 22 around 1:30 p.m., after someone contacted police about an unresponsive male.
Tyler reportedly went through a hazing incident at WSU’s Theta Chi fraternity house prior to his death, according to a Change.org petition created by his loved ones. Whitman County Coroner Annie Pillers, however, has not yet determined the cause of death.
WSU police Assistant Chief Dawn Daniels stated that Tyler was found deceased in his dorm room, but foul play is not suspected at this time. Whitman County Coroner Annie Pillers has not yet determined the cause of death.
The petition is now pushing for Theta Chi to be investigated.
“His death directly followed a long and cruel pledging process allowed by his fraternity, Theta Chi,” the petition reads. “Their inhumane and cruel hazing forced Luke, and many others to do things nobody should ever be forced to do.”
An online petition was launched following Tyler's death that accuses members of a fraternity of being responsible. https://t.co/iliMRa6zNM
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 30, 2023
WSU Pullman Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton released a statement following the death, which reads, in part:
“I continue to be heartbroken over the student death that occurred in a residence hall on our campus over the weekend. The loss of a member of our Cougar family creates a tremendous loss for all of us, and I want to extend my deepest condolences to the student’s family, friends, classmates, and fellow Cougs.
“In the tragic case of any student death, WSU has a strict protocol to follow with procedures that were put in place out of respect for both the families and the investigative process. Arguably the most important element of this protocol is the direct outreach from our Dean of Students Office to the family and friends of the decedent. I’m very thankful for the incredible work and ongoing support services provided by our Dean of Students in this case, and overall.
“WSU Pullman will not release any information about the individual until details have been coordinated with the family and the Whitman County Coroner’s Office. We will always maintain a high level of respect for both the families and investigative process, and will not disclose any information that could inadvertently disrupt this process.
“I understand that during trying times a lack of information often leads to confusion and questions. I urge everyone to avoid speculation about this incident so that the investigation may proceed unimpeded. We anticipate that the coroner’s office will release more information, including the cause and manner of death, in the coming weeks.
DailyMail reports that Perham Hall is situated “less than a mile from an apartment” where murder suspect Bryan Kohbeger lived; he’s accused of killing four University of Idaho students. The two incidents have not been linked.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses.
This is a developing story and will be updated as additional information becomes available. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo via Change.org]