Cause of death released after Radford student dies in jail

Died from opioid toxicity, asthma

RADFORD, Va.A Radford student’s death has been ruled an accident after he was found dead in his cell at the New River Valley Regional Jail in September.

Aris Eduardo Lobo-Perez, 18, died from acute buprenorphine toxicity, or opioid toxicity, compounded by acute and chronic asthma, according to the medical examiner. His death has officially been ruled an accident.

18-year-old Lobo-Perez had just started his college career when it ended three months ago.

Below is a timeline released by Virginia State Police:

  • Late Wednesday, Sept. 11: Radford University police responded to a call at a campus facility concerning Lobo-Perez.
  • Shortly before midnight Thursday: Police took him into custody and charged him with public intoxication before he was transported by campus police to New River Valley Regional Jail.
  • Around 7:20 a.m. Thursday: Jail personnel approached Lobo-Perez to offer him breakfast, which he declined.
  • Around 7:50 a.m. Thursday: Jail personnel found Lobo-Perez unresponsive in his cell. Authorities say jail personnel tried to resuscitate Lobo-Perez immediately, but he was declared dead at the jail.

Lobo-Perez’s death originally left family members with more questions than answers.

“What happened to my son? I will die, I will fight for my son, to find the truth,” Lobo-Perez’s mother, Dixiana Perez, said. “I just want to know what happened to my baby.”

“It’s hard, just because he’s only been there for a few weeks and I know he was happy about starting a new chapter,” Lobo-Perez’s sister, Jennifer Turcios, said.

At a yard sale to benefit Lobo-Perez’s family, a friend, Joey Fernandez, described him as a funny guy.

"He always just loved to have fun. His laugh, his jokes, everything about him was just really good," Fernandez said.

In a statement, Radford University’s vice president of student affairs expressed sympathy for Lobo-Perez’s family and friends.

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