Jul 04, 2014 04:27 AM EDT
Californian Student Dies on Fraternity Hiking Trip in Angeles National Forest
The California State University, Northridge, has asked the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity to "cease and desist" all activities pending investigation into one of its members' death.
Aramando Villa, a 19-year-old student, lost his life Tuesday following a hiking trip with group members in the Angeles National Forest. The overnight hike was part of a fraternity initiation activity.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said that the pledge's death possibly occurred due to heatstroke after he ran out of water and fell unconscious, Huffington Post reports. However, the exact cause of death will be determined by a coroner.
Family members were shocked upon hearing the news of Villa's death, who claimd that the death was related to "pledging" or "hazing." "He was trying to get into this fraternity," Villa's aunt Maria Casteneda said.
Casteneda told KTLA that the group were abandoned in the forest - without shoes, water and cell phone - and they had to find their way out. She said that his nephew's body was found barefoot with his feet and back blistered.
"How do you leave somebody out there without shoes in 100-degree weather?" asked one of Villa's distressed cousins.
Villa, who aspired to study medicine, just completed his first year at the University. Prior to the hiking event, Villa participated in two other initiation activities that left him with bruises.
"I remember he came back with his elbows bruised, and he was talking to me about an event he was excited for, and then when he got back I asked him about it, and he was like 'It wasn't even fun'," Villa's cousin, Christopher Castaneda told ABC7.
Castaneda said that Villa had decided not to continue with the fraternity, but since he had already promised others about the hiking trip, he went ahead.
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