Investigators are trying to piece together the circumstances surrounding the death of McCrae Williams, a 19-year-old freshman lacrosse player at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania who was found unconscious on Sunday afternoon before being pronounced dead on Monday.
Head of School Catherine J. Hall blamed Williams’ untimely death on a head injury in a letter sent to students and parents, but authorities cryptically claimed that he was involved in a “chain of events” that began on Saturday and resulted in his death two days later, the Morning Call reported.
According to Easton police, Lafayette public safety officers were called to the scene of a medical emergency at around 4:15 pm on Sunday, where they found an unconscious Williams outside a dormitory building. He was taken to the school’s hospital before being transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.
By 5:02 on Monday, Williams was pronounced dead at the hospital, but the coroner could not ascertain any “visible injuries” on his body, ruling out signs of trauma, gunshot wounds, and stab wounds.
While police have yet to reveal details about the call that lead officers to find Williams, they are attempting to determine whether alcohol played a role in his death. The toxicology test could take a few weeks to come back. A Wednesday autopsy corroborated that his death resulted from “blunt force head injuries,” but a ruling on the manner of death is pending until police have concluded their investigation.
About 500 students gathered on Tuesday for a campus vigil in Williams’ memory. College President Allison Byerly expressed shock at his passing.
“To see a life cut short just on the brink of that adventure is particularly disquieting,” she said.
Investigators are now interviewing the victim’s friends and roommates to figure out how he died, said Northampton County First Deputy District Attorney Terence Houck.
“Obviously when you have a death like this, a kid this age, something’s going on, so nothing is out of play here,” he said.