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Investigators, Family, Friends Wonder About State Student's Death

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GOLDSBORO — Investigators are still trying to figure outwhy an NC State freshman who could not swim was in the cold waters of LakeJohnson Sunday night. Steven Velazquez drowned just hoursafter being initiated into a fraternity.

In his hometown of Goldsboro, the flag at Eastern Wayne High Schoolflew at half-staff Tuesday. It had not been such a long time sinceVelazquez graduated from the school. His friend Tiffany Call saidVelazquez had many plans for his future.

Velazquez nurtured his love for the armed forces in the school's JuniorROTC program. Instructors say he was an exceptional leader with a brightfuture. Shawn McGrady was also a friend. He said Velazquez was alwayswinning awards.

His friends say it wasn't like Velazquez to jump into a situation hecouldn't handle. Police have ruled out foul play by fraternity brothers,but the fact that he was in the water at all is something those who knowhim consider odd.

They say Velazquez was very open about the fact that he did not knowhow to swim. Call said he told a few friends at the high school that hehad considered taking swimming classes at NC State, but he had not yetdone so.

Investigators say they hope their investigation will eventually answerthe question of how Velazquez got into the lake. Raleigh police say theyexpect to have autopsy results later this week.

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