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October 16, 2018

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UNR death still probed as a hazing


Reno police are still investigating as a possible hazing incident the drowning death last week of a freshman from Las Vegas attending the University of Nevada, Reno.

Albert Jerome Referzo Santos, 18, was with a group of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity members when he died early Thursday morning in Manzanita Lake on the UNR campus.

Lt. Todd Renwick, a UNR officer, said Sunday that police expected to complete interviews into the incident on Tuesday.

"We are still conducting interviews with any witnesses that were identified," Renwick said.

An autopsy was conducted on Santos, but the Washoe County coroner's office is withholding results until toxicology reports come back.

Renwick said toxicology results from the autopsy will not be available for another five to 10 days.

A preliminary coroner's report said the victim and several fraternity members were taking part in an initiation or ritual. Several fraternity members entered the lake in undershorts, left the water in five minutes and then noticed Santos was missing, the report said.

After fraternity members unsuccessfully searched for Santos, one called police about a half-hour later.

Divers found Santos' body in 7 feet of water, 30 feet from the southeast shore.

UNR has temporarily suspended the fraternity, pending a review of the case by administrators. University officials said administrators would wait until the police report was complete before determining whether the fraternity violated any rules.

State anti-hazing laws forbid initiation activities that might injure someone. Swimming is forbidden in Manzanita Lake.

Pi Kappa Alpha representatives do not maintain a house in Reno.

A biology major, Santos won a $10,000 Park Place Entertainment Scholarship in addition to a Millennium Scholarship.