App State police conclude investigation into student's death, AL - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

App State police conclude investigation into student's death, ALE case ongoing

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

On Friday, the Appalachian State Police Department concluded their investigation into the death of sophomore Tyler Blalock.

Officers found a wallet in Blalock's pants containing two IDs with conflicting information. One was a university AppCard with his name, and the other was a N.C. driver's license belonging to another individual.

While other documents in the wallet led police to believe the deceased was Blalock, the photo on the N.C. driver's license also bore a strong resemblance to him.

As a result, a family member was contacted to make a positive identification of the body at Watauga Medical Center.

After interviewing several friends of Blalock, police were able to trace some of his activities Friday night into early Saturday morning.

Blalock had attended a party off campus around 8 p.m. Sept. 28 and was reported in a "somewhat intoxicated state." He later purchased beer at a local store and returned to the party.

Around 11:30 a.m. Sept. 29, he left the party with friends for a nearby bar. Witnesses reported to University Police that Blalock appeared very intoxicated.

Witnesses told police that Blalock left the bar at approximately 2 a.m. and was last seen walking toward campus.  

The medical examiner has estimated Blalock's death to have occurred around 2:30 Saturday morning and the cause of death was drowning. 

University Police have shared information from their investigation with the N.C. Department of Public Safety's Alcohol Law Enforcement division, which is conducting an independent investigation to determine if any alcohol laws were violated.

University administrators would like to remind students and others of Appalachian's "It's Up to Me" initiative in which students are encouraged to say something if they observe behavior that could put them or another student at risk.

Information about the initiative is online at http://appcares.appstate.edu/.

Agents with the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement have opened their own investigation into the death of a Charlotte teenager found in a creek on a North Carolina college campus.

Chief of Appalachian State University police said 'alcohol was involved' in the death of 19 year old Tyler Blalock.

ALE agents told WBTV Wednesday they are looking into where Blalock got the alcohol and who bought it for him.

The Chief of Police also told WBTV they're waiting for toxicology results to see the amount of alcohol in Tyler Blalock's system. Investigators say they're working to establish a timeline of Blalock's where-abouts before his death.

According to investigators, the body of the 19-year-old was found in a creek by a passerby in Durham Park. Police say he slipped, hit his head on a rock, and fell in the creek.

Police don't know how long he was in the creek. An initial autopsy report says he accidentally drowned.

Family and friends attended at visitation service for Blalock Wednesday night at McEwen Funeral Home Derita Chapel in North Charlotte.

Grief counselors were at the school on Saturday and there was a moment of silence in memory of Tyler before Saturday's game.

Durham Park is on the campus of Appalachian State University, near the corner of Rivers and Hardin streets.

University Police, Boone Police, and Watauga Medics responded to the call.

Blalock was a sophomore from Charlotte who was studying sustainable development.

The teenager graduated from North Meck High School in 2011.  The student's mother wants to know what happened to her son.

"I know somebody was there," Victim's mother Lynn Blalock said.  "Somebody knows something. I need whoever was there. Whoever knows anything to have mercy on his family and at least give us the peace of mind to tell us the truth of what happened, that's the only way any of us is going to find any rest."

The mother did say police told her Tyler has severe head injuries.  An autopsy is being performed.

"I don't care if it takes me one day," the mother said.  "I don't care if it takes me a year. I don't care if it takes me my lifetime. I will find the truth out."

School officials told WTBV the thoughts and concerns of the Appalachian community are with Tyler's family and friends during this difficult time.

Blalock's funeral will held on Thursday at 3 p.m. at University City United Methodist Church on Harris Boulevard.

Anyone with information related to this case is encouraged to contact University Police at 828-262-2150. Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved

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