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Friends, family mourn death of freshman

November 9, 2008 8:31:54 PM PST
Family and friends are mourning the loss of a University of Deleware freshman who apparently died of alcohol poisoning.Paramedics were called to a house in Newark just before 3 a.m. Saturday, where police found 18-year-old Brett Griffin of Kendall Park, New Jersey, not breathing.

"He's got a quiet passion, a fun kid," neighbor Andrew Fellouris said. "At the end of the day, you know he had the world ahead of him."

It was a world so bright, one that suddenly went dark early Saturday morning. That's when police rushed to a fraternity house just blocks from the University of Delaware.

Inside, Griffin was unconscious on the second floor. The 18-year-old had already gone into cardiac arrest. He later died at the hospital. His parents remain in seclusion in their Kendall Park home, surrounded by an army of friends.

"We were here when Brett was born, seen him grow up to be a nice young man," family friend Rob Karabinchak said.

Like his two older brothers, Brett was a graduate of South Brunswick. He was an impressive wrestler who never missed a practice.

He was thriving at the university and had gone to the house for a party. He was pledging the fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu.

Initial police findings indicate he may have died from alcohol poisoning. An autopsy Sunday showed no signs of trauma to his body. Toxicology reports will reveal more, but for now, friends remember a young man with a heart of gold.

Police will look into how Brett gained access to so much alcohol. Charges, if any are filed down the line, could included providing alcohol to a minor.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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