Third-year Nicholas Barnes died of alcohol poisoning according to an e-mail from the Cook County Bureau of Administration. The manner of death was ruled an accident.
An autopsy had already taken place on February 16, and early results showed no sign of foul play or suicide. But the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office initially said that the cause and time of death would not be definitive for four to six weeks, after evidence had gone through a toxicology screening. The full toxicology report has not yet been submitted to medical records, according to the Bureau’s Public Information Officer Frank Shuftan.
Barnes was found in his dorm in International House on Saturday, February 15, at around 4:15 p.m., according to Chicago Police Department spokesperson Hector Alfaro. Barnes was pronounced dead that same day at 4:50 p.m.
A memorial service was held on campus shortly after the discovery of Barnes’s death. Friends of the family have started a fund for the Nicholas Brastins Barnes Prize at Shady Side Academy, his high school alma mater.