The Whitman County Coroner has released the name of the WSU student found dead in his dorm room. 19-year-old Luke Tyler was discovered in his room on January 22nd.
While there are online allegations that hazing at a fraternity may have played a role in his death, WSU Police Chief Gary Jenkins told NonStop Local that, "Any type of conclusion, including hazing, is premature. We'll work with the coroner’s office to determine the cause and manner of death." Jenkins did add that there were no signs of foul play.
A University spokesman would not comment on the possibility that hazing may have played a role in Tyler's death. He was aware of the online allegations, but said it would be inappropriate to comment on something that was still actively being investigated. He says that the coroner likely won't have the results of Tyler's death for several weeks.
In 2019, a freshman named Sam Martinez was found dead after what police ultimately was determined to be a hazing incident. 15 of Sam's fraternity brothers were charged with supplying alcohol to a minor.
Sam's parents are working with Washington State lawmakers to create a bill that would strengthen hazing laws. As it stands, punishment for hazing is up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. The bill would result in up to 364 days in jail and a maximum fee of $5,000. Should the hazing result in substantial bodily harm, it would constitute a class C felony, meaning up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.