An 18-year-old Hailey man who had been missing from the University of Idaho campus since early Sunday morning was found dead late Monday afternoon in Moscow.
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News quoted police as saying that Joseph Wiederrick most likely died of hypothermia. Wiederrick was a 2012 Wood River High School graduate and a student at the university.
The newspaper reported that Wiederrick left a party at a fraternity house at about 2 a.m. Sunday but did not return to his dormitory residence at Theophilus Tower on the university campus. Moscow Police Chief David Duke told the newspaper that Wiederrick was apparently disoriented when he left the party, was seen at some residences near the campus later Sunday morning and was found under a bridge over Paradise Creek in Moscow around 4 p.m. Monday.
A search was started Sunday afternoon when his dormitory roommate reported that Wiederrick hadn’t come home.
In an interview Tuesday, Duke told the Idaho Mountain Express that foul play is not suspected.
“Not at this time,” he said. “We’re still going to call an autopsy and get the medical examiner to issue a cause of death.”
The police chief said toxicology tests are being conducted but results won’t be available for several weeks.
Duke stopped short of saying Wiederrick died of hypothermia but said he was exposed to temperatures in the teens for several hours. He said police have evidence indicating that Wiederrick was “disoriented” when he left the frat party.
“That’s the question that I think everybody is asking, is what made him walk in a different direction away from his dormitory and not know where he was at,” Duke said. “We know there was alcohol at the fraternity and that’s why we’re doing the toxicology.”
Funeral services for Wiederrick had not been announced as of press deadline Tuesday.
Terry Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org