Tyler Lopresti-Castro | SUNY Oneonta student Tyler Lopresti-Castro, 20, was discovered by two Oneonta transit employees shortly before 7 a.m. Thursday lying unconscious on the pavement near a city bus garage, officials said.
Police said they do not suspect any criminality so far.
Authorities are investigating after an upstate New York college student died after spending hours off-campus in subzero temperatures, police said.
The drivers contacted the city’s police and fire departments. When emergency workers arrived, they “did every possible thing they could do to resuscitate him,” said Otsego County Coroner Terry Knapp.
Lopresti-Castro, who was initially identified by his SUNY Oneonta ID, was transported to a local hospital where he died, authorities said.
The student, who was only wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, was apparently suffering from “extended exposure to extremely cold, subzero temperatures,” Oneonta Police Chief Christopher Witzenburg said during a press briefing Friday.
Witzenburg characterized the case at this time as a “cold weather-related incident.”
Tyler Lopresti-Castro, 20, was first treated at the scene when he was found on the pavement near the Silas Lane Bus Garage just before 7 a.m. Thursday and “was apparently suffering from extended exposure to extremely cold, subzero temperatures,” Oneonta Police said Friday on its Facebook page. Lopresti-Castro — whose surname is listed as LoPresti-Castro on his Facebook page — was then transported to a nearby hospital.
The temperature that morning was 12 below zero, according to Knapp.
The cause and manner of death are currently under investigation. An autopsy is expected to be completed Friday, officials said. At this point, police said there is “no indication of criminality.”
SUNY Oneonta said it is fully cooperating with local authorities in the investigation.
“This is a very sad time for SUNY Oneonta,” the university said in a statement. “Our campus community is mourning the loss of one of our own, and we are focused on providing support to the student’s family and friends. Our hearts go out to them, and we are providing whatever assistance we can to help them during this difficult time.”
Lopresti-Castro, who lived off-campus, was found about 3.5 miles from the university, Witzenburg said.
Police are currently trying to fill in a two-hour gap in their timeline of his whereabouts.
Lopresti-Castro was last seen around midnight Thursday, police said, though they did not provide any further details on where. Garage surveillance video reviewed by detectives showed him emerging from a wooded area behind the garage around 2:15 a.m., said police, who believe he may have walked through deep snow and crossed a drainage creek before emerging onto the city property.
“Between midnight and 2:15 a.m. we really don’t know where he was, so we’re asking that the public contact the Oneonta Police Department with any information that they may be able to provide to detectives and try to fill that time gap,” Witzenburg said.
Lisa Miller, a SUNY Oneonta spokeswoman, said that the school has received no evidence that the death was fraternity-related, but will await the results of the police investigation.
She said the school is not currently investigating any students.
Lopresti-Castro graduated from Columbia High in East Greenbush, New York, where he was involved in athletics, including track and field. The school’s athletic program mourned his loss in a social media post Saturday, saying he was a “beloved son, friend, and teammate to so many in our community.”
“Once a Blue Devil Always a Blue Devil,” the program said in an earlier post.
Lopresti-Castro went by Tlo, a nickname that stuck from youth football, his friends told ABC News. The group of eight close-knit, childhood friends jokingly called themselves the “brother bears” growing up — another nickname that stuck, they said.
Torelli has since set up a GoFundMe with the others to help Lopresti-Castro’s mother and stepfather at this time. The LoPresti-Castro’s family and has already raised more than $27,000 of its $100,000 goal and notes: “Tyler left an impact on every person he met by giving so much love and support.”
Authorities are asking anyone with additional information to call Oneonta Police at (607) 432-1111 or the New York State University Police at Oneonta at (607) 436-3550. Those looking to submit a tip anonymously can do so here.
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