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Patrick Kycia update–No hazing charges were ever added. Case may go to civil court

The tragic death of a student in 2005 (see below) may be revisited as the family has retained an attorney and is considering whether legal action against some chapter members is appropriate. Moderator

Fraternity member Jason Reinhardt celebrated his 21st birthday on March 21, 2004 trying to consume 21 drinks in one hour at Coach’s bar, Larson said. He died later that day at the fraternity house from an overdose of alcohol, Larson said.

Kycia’s body was discovered Tuesday morning by a search and dive team near a wooded area where one of his shoes was found Monday night. The spot was about two miles from where his wallet was found early Friday morning, Larson said. While officials await autopsy results, Larson said Kycia’s body showed no obvious signs of physical trauma.

“We still don’t know how he got there,” said Kycia’s mother, Rose Foley, minutes after receiving the news. “But we found him. That was our goal. For that, I’m grateful.”

Sayarath and roommates Robert Hanson and Travis Fanum, all from Lino Lakes, expressed disbelief upon learning of the discovery of Kycia’s body.

Sayarath said that Kycia had been drinking before leaving their off-campus apartment last Thursday, “but could still walk a straight line.” Kycia, who was not a Phi Sigma Kappa member, began drinking heavily at the fraternity house, Sayarath said. Sayarath last saw his roommate accompanying fraternity members upstairs, to an area usually forbidden to outsiders, he said.

Hours later, two calls were made from Kycia’s cell phone — the first at 3:35 a.m. to Fanum, who said he only heard muffled noises. Startled, the roommates began a search for Kycia, finding his wallet a few blocks away. The wallet seemed intact.

The second call was made around 5 a.m. to Dustin Cote in Woodbury, a high school buddy of Kycia. Again, the caller’s voice was never heard, authorities said.

When Kycia, who had a 3.65 grade-point average, failed to show up for a philosophy test Friday morning and for work that afternoon, his roommates called authorities.

“I want to draw some valid conclusions about what actually happened to him,” said Julian Kycia, Patrick’s father. “I want to know how he got from where his wallet was found to where he was discovered.”

Residents on Moorhead’s north side said they saw a man fitting Kycia’s description — about 6 feet 2 inches, 230 pounds and wearing a gray Minnesota State sweatshirt and faded jeans — walking in the direction of the Red River, Larson said. Authorities have all but ruled out the possibility that Kycia was given a ride.

Family and friends, struggling with the sudden loss of a conscientious student who planned to become a Twin Cities pharmacist, had other questions.

“He had paid his next two months’ rent in advance, was excited about his classes and his job, really was looking forward to a great year,” said Julian Kycia. “I want to know what went on in the fraternity house,” he said.

Hours after Patrick Kycia’s body was discovered Tuesday in the Red River, authorities and a roommate disputed a campus fraternity’s claim that its members didn’t provide alcohol to the 19-year-old shortly before he disappeared.

Kycia, a Minnesota State University, Moorhead sophomore from Stillwater, was last seen alive Thursday night at Phi Sigma Kappa, where “fraternity guys just kept giving him shots and were giving out $1 beers,” said Ricky Sayarath, 19, one of Kycia’s roommates.

The fraternity’s grand chapter in Indianapolis issued a three-paragraph statement acknowledging that Kycia “may have attended an informal gathering” that included fraternity members, but that fraternity members did not provide him with drugs or alcohol. Several calls made by the Star Tribune to the fraternity’s executive director, Michael Carey, in Indianapolis, were not returned.

Moorhead police said they searched the fraternity house about 5 p.m. Tuesday in connection with the Kycia case, but no further information was released.

Kycia’s was the second alcohol-related death in the past 18 months with links to the Minnesota State University Moorhead Phi Sigma Kappa house, said Lt. Bob Larson, who led the Moorhead police search for Kycia.

Fraternity member Jason Reinhardt celebrated his 21st birthday on March 21, 2004 trying to consume 21 drinks in one hour at Coach’s bar, Larson said. He died later that day at the fraternity house from an overdose of alcohol, Larson said.

Kycia’s body was discovered Tuesday morning by a search and dive team near a wooded area where one of his shoes was found Monday night. The spot was about two miles from where his wallet was found early Friday morning, Larson said. While officials await autopsy results, Larson said Kycia’s body showed no obvious signs of physical trauma.

“We still don’t know how he got there,” said Kycia’s mother, Rose Foley, minutes after receiving the news. “But we found him. That was our goal. For that, I’m grateful.”

Sayarath and roommates Robert Hanson and Travis Fanum, all from Lino Lakes, expressed disbelief upon learning of the discovery of Kycia’s body.

Sayarath said that Kycia had been drinking before leaving their off-campus apartment last Thursday, “but could still walk a straight line.” Kycia, who was not a Phi Sigma Kappa member, began drinking heavily at the fraternity house, Sayarath said. Sayarath last saw his roommate accompanying fraternity members upstairs, to an area usually forbidden to outsiders, he said.

Hours later, two calls were made from Kycia’s cell phone — the first at 3:35 a.m. to Fanum, who said he only heard muffled noises. Startled, the roommates began a search for Kycia, finding his wallet a few blocks away. The wallet seemed intact.

The second call was made around 5 a.m. to Dustin Cote in Woodbury, a high school buddy of Kycia. Again, the caller’s voice was never heard, authorities said.

When Kycia, who had a 3.65 grade-point average, failed to show up for a philosophy test Friday morning and for work that afternoon, his roommates called authorities.

“I want to draw some valid conclusions about what actually happened to him,” said Julian Kycia, Patrick’s father. “I want to know how he got from where his wallet was found to where he was discovered.”

Residents on Moorhead’s north side said they saw a man fitting Kycia’s description — about 6 feet 2 inches, 230 pounds and wearing a gray Minnesota State sweatshirt and faded jeans — walking in the direction of the Red River, Larson said. Authorities have all but ruled out the possibility that Kycia was given a ride.

Family and friends, struggling with the sudden loss of a conscientious student who planned to become a Twin Cities pharmacist, had other questions.

“He had paid his next two months’ rent in advance, was excited about his classes and his job, really was looking forward to a great year,” said Julian Kycia. “I want to know what went on in the fraternity house,” he said.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Date: September 28, 2005
By: Paul Levy

From another article:
Excerpt: Julian Kycia says he is still coming to grips with his son’s death. He’s pleased with the work that Moorhead police have done. Kycia’s hopeful the investigation will help prevent future incidents.

“If anything good comes out of Patrick’s death, I don’t want any other parents to feel the same feelings I’m feeling and hurt the same way I hurt,” says Kycia.

Officials involved with the case say no further charges are expected.

__________________________

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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