State police still investigating Radford University student's death

Freshman found dead in jail cell Thursday after arrest Wednesday

By Colter Anstaett - Reporter

RADFORD, Va. - Aris Eduardo Lobo-Perez, 18, had just started his college career when it ended last week.

He was found dead in his cell at the New River Valley Jail Thursday morning after being arrested Wednesday by campus police for public intoxication.

"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.

Virginia State Police are investigating the death.

"You conduct a multitude of interviews and, of course, work with the jail and employees at the time, and then kind of researching back to medical conditions and that sort of thing," VSP spokeswoman Corrine Geller said.

Geller said jails are not required to have state police investigate when an inmate dies, but requesting a state police investigation is not uncommon for jails.

State police are waiting on autopsy results in order to move forward.

On Monday, the medical examiner in Roanoke said the cause of death was still pending.

At a yard sale over the weekend 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.

The university declined to comment further because the investigation is ongoing.

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