Washington State University student found dead at off-campus frat house

Samuel Martinez, 19, was a freshman at Washington State University.

November 14, 2019, 9:12 AM

Police are investigating the death of a Washington State University student who was found dead at a fraternity house near campus.

Officers arrived at the Alpha Tau Omega house in Pullman, Washington, on Tuesday morning, after receiving a call about a 19-year-old fraternity member who appeared to be "unconscious and not breathing." Fellow fraternity members had attempted to perform CPR on the young man, but medics ultimately pronounced him dead at the scene, according to press release from the Pullman Police Department.

The student was later identified by police as Samuel Martinez, a freshman at Washington State University who was from Bellevue, a city 10 miles east of Seattle.

A preliminary investigation indicated Martinez's death may be alcohol-related but, at this time, investigators don't believe the incident meets the definition of hazing, police said.

The incident remains under investigation. The Whitman County Coroner’s Office is working with the Pullman Police Department to determine the cause and manner of death.

PHOTO: Alpha Tau Omega on the Washington State University campus.
Alpha Tau Omega on the Washington State University campus.

Washington State University did not identify the student by name in a statement released Tuesday but described his death as "heartbreaking." School counselors and student affairs staff have met with "those most closely affected by this tragic loss," the university said.

All fraternities and sororities on campus have self-imposed an immediate suspension of social events for the rest of the semester, amid the ongoing investigation.

"Washington State University will be working with the Pullman Police Department and the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity in the coming days to investigate the circumstances surrounding this death," the school said in the statement. "Today, however, we are focused on supporting the student’s family and our University community."

PHOTO: View of the Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
View of the Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images, FILE

The Alpha Tau Omega National Fraternity, headquartered in Indianapolis, released a brief statement Tuesday, saying in part, "Alpha Tau Omega mourns the death of a member who passed away overnight. The chapter is working with local officials and university administrators in their investigation."

Martinez's death comes just two days after a San Diego State University freshman, Dylan Hernandez, died after leaving a fraternity gathering. Hernandez died when he fell off a top bunk following an event at the Phi Gamma Delta house on campus. All 14 fraternities at the school were suspended in the wake of his death.

Separately, an Arizona State University student was found dead Monday at the Greek Leadership Village, but school officials have not released details about the circumstances of his death.

ABC News' Bonnie McLean, Jim Vojtech and Morgan Winsor contributed to this report.