Student's Death Below Silo a Mystery

By Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, May 23, 2013  |  Updated 1:24 PM EDT
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Student's Death Below Silo a Mystery

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More than six weeks after a college student's body was found on the side of a rural road, his death remains an open investigation.

Separate, but cooperating investigations continue to determine what killed Millersville University sophomore Kevin Chavez.

The 19-year-old’s injured body was found near a silo along Silver Spring Road in West Hempfield Township, Pa. on the night of April 8.  His car was parked nearby and his cell phone was found on top of the 70-foot-high silo, which sits on a private farm.

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In the days following Chavez’s death, Lancaster County Coroner Stephen Diamantoni said that the Hempfield High School graduate died from multiple traumatic injuries but he wasn’t able to determine a cause of death.

Since then, “joint effort” investigations by both the coroner’s office and West Hempfield Police have been ongoing in hopes of figuring out what killed Chavez, West Hempfield Police Chief Mark Pugliese said.

Police have complied a timeline of events to try and narrow down Chavez’s whereabouts leading up to his death. They don't believe foul play was involved.

Pugliese told NBC10.com that his department has also sent out samples of Chavez’s clothing and some DNA evidence to the state police lab for examination. These tests could possibly help determine if a car struck Chavez or if he fell, according to police.

The coroner’s office is also awaiting tests including blood work and an examination of Chavez’s stomach contents.

“We have shared our findings (so far),” Pugliese said.

Pugliese said there is no timetable for when the test results will be back. Normally tests can take up to eight weeks.

A final ruling on the cause of death will be made by the coroner Pugliese said.

The son of a pastor, Chavez was laid to rest following funeral services in Elizabethtown, Pa. His obituary mentioned his love of golf and his large family including five siblings.

Anyone with information on how he got hurt is asked to call West Hempfield Police at 717-285-5191.

 


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