The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday September 18th

Student's Death Still Unexplained

Daniel S. Walker, 20, a journalism and economics major, was found dead in his Carrboro home at 92 Pine Hill Drive around 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Investigators said Walker attended a party that night at his fraternity house, Sigma Nu, and then went to a friend's residence. "There was some evidence that he had purchased some drugs around the campus," said Gary Blankenship, a Carrboro investigator."Yes, he was at a party (at Sigma Nu) but that does not mean he bought the drugs there."

Blankenship said tainted drugs, which he defined as "drugs that have things in them that they're not supposed to have," might have been consumed. Investigators stressed that drug use has not been confirmed and neither has an exact drug.

In Walker's room, investigators found white powder and a partial tablet of a pill of some sort on his desk, said Carrboro Investigator John Lau. Lau said Walker might have consumed OxyContin.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Web site, OxyContin is a narcotic drug approved for the prescribed treatment of moderate to severe pain. The drug can be lethal if chewed, broken or crushed because a large amount of the drug will be released all at once under these circumstances, the Web site states.

According to a Monday statement from the State Medical Examiner's Office in Orange County, Walker's cause of death is still unknown. But officials have ruled out heart attack, choking or foul play. Toxicology tests will be available no sooner than two weeks from Monday.

Friends say they are afraid Walker's death will mar his image. Jesse Wharton, Walker's girlfriend and a UNC junior, said there are only positive things to say about his life. "He was just an amazing person, and he was the kind of person who was always there for his friends," she said.

Collin Goforth, Walker's fraternity brother, said Walker was involved in the fraternity and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. The funeral was held Monday at Hendersonville First United Methodist Church. Walker's family has requested that memorials be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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