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N.C. State TKE Members Mourn Drowned Brother

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Raleigh police survey Raleigh's
RALEIGH — Members of a N.C. StateUniversity fraternityare mourning the loss of one of their own just hours after his initiation.

Police say 19-year-old StevenJason Velazquez drowned in Raleigh's Lake Johnson after a late-nightgroup swim Sunday. His body was found Monday afternoon under afloating dock at the lake.

Detectives ventured in and out of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternityhouse on the State campus all day Monday, interviewing members. Detectivestold WRAL-TV5'sAmanda Lambthat theybelieve the drowning was accidental, and that there was no force used.

Some people were wondering Monday if the drowning might have beenconnected to the initiation. There has been some speculation thatfraternity members threw their newest members into the lake afterinitiation. The students called police about 12:30 a.m. Monday after thegroup returned to its fraternity house and realized Velazquez was missing.

But Raleigh police Sgt. R.E. Deaton said it appears the group went tothe lake Sunday night to have a good time, not as part of theinitiation ceremony.

Tom Stafford, vice chancellor of student affairs at N.C. State, verified thatVelazquez had just been initiated into TKE.

N.C. State Chancellor Larry Monteith said it is too early for theschoolto have all the facts.

A police investigation is continuing, and Monteith said the schoolwould conduct an investigation of its own.

Velazquez's parents drove from Goldsboro and spent much of the day withschool officials. Police say they don't expect any charges will be filedin this case.

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