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Family of SDSU student who died after falling off bunk bed claims investigation is not complete

Posted at 9:34 PM, Jan 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-20 09:06:31-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The family of 19-year-old Dylan Hernandez, the San Diego State University (SDSU) freshman who died after falling off a bunk bed last November, say they are concerned about the investigation conducted by Campus Police and the University.

The family believes the University Police Department is not pursuing certain angles, including a possible cover-up.

Last November, Dylan Hernandez died after attending a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity party. In police reports obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune, the freshman made it back to his dorm room around midnight. On the morning of Nov. 7, 2019, he fell off the top bunk bed and hit his head. An autopsy concluded that Hernandez had fractured his skull, suffering from a brain bleed that ultimately led to his accidental death. Reports also state that his blood-alcohol level was about 0.23, nearly three times the legal limit.

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In a newly released statement to 10News, the Florida native's family said they are disturbed at how poorly Campus Police and San Diego State are handling the investigation.

"The Hernandez family is concerned because witnesses they provided to SDSU and UPD still have not been questioned," George Kindley, Hernandez family lawyer, said.

The same University Police reports state that UPD never interviewed anybody from the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. They also never sought out search warrants for Snapchat videos or phone records, despite knowing that some fraternity brothers instructed others to delete possibly incriminating videos and messages. According to the report, one of those messages read, "Remember, silence is golden."

This was a shocking revelation to the family. In a statement to 10News, the Hernandez family said, they hope:

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"SDSU and UPD will quickly live up to their promises and complete the investigation without further delay. The Hernandez family wants SDSU and UPD to take action now to prevent future tragedies like this one from occurring." (George Kindley, Hernandez family lawyer)

Sunday, UPD responded to a 10News inquiry regarding the Hernandez family. They said:

"The preliminary, incomplete police report was provided to a representative of the Hernandez family in an effort to be as supportive and transparent with the family as possible during a difficult time for them as they are mourning the tragic loss of their loved one. Details of the incomplete report, released late last year, was not meant to be shared with the public as it compromises our ongoing investigation and can hinder witnesses from sharing information. "

The Hernandez family also told 10News they are questioning the SDSU's bunk bed safety enforcement. They said:

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"SDSU needs to provide all students in school issued bunk beds with a safety rail that actually meets minimum safety standards, not a pseudo safety rail that SDSU knows failed and caused other students injuries in the past." (George Kindley, Hernandez family lawyer)

In response, SDSU said in the last five years, they have only had two known incidents regarding bunk beds. However, they did not reveal specifics. They said:

"All lofted beds and bunk beds located within SDSU residence halls are produced by national manufacturers and meet California State Fire Marshal requirements. Colleges and universities are not required to follow U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines defining requirements for childrens' beds." (Cory Marshall, San Diego State University)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines state the height from the railing from the top of the mattress must be no lower than five inches. College dorms, jails and military barracks are not held to the same standards.