FRESNO, Calif. — A Fresno State University sophomore who died after being rushed to the hospital from a fraternity house died of an apparent drug overdose, an official said Thursday.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said that 19-year-old Omar Nemeth died after taking Xanax and smoking marijuana throughout the day Tuesday, before going to the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house on Wednesday.
Officers found a bag with 583 Xanax pills, an anti-anxiety drug, an ounce of marijuana and two open bottles of Promethazine syrup, which is known to cause euphoria, Dyer said.
Nemeth, his 16-year-old brother, and 17-year-old girlfriend were taking the pills and smoking marijuana for most of the day Tuesday, Dyer said. At about 3 a.m. Wednesday, the group went to the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house to meet a friend of Nemeth who is a member and they all took drugs until about 5 a.m. when the group went to sleep, he said.
Nemeth’s younger brother found him unresponsive on a couch at around 1 p.m. Wednesday but instead of calling 911, a friend drove him Saint Agnes Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Dyer said.
He stressed that the death was not a hazing or party issue and said detectives discovered Nemeth had been a chronic user of Xanax and marijuana for at least six months.
Investigators will be looking into how Nemeth obtained such a large number of prescription pills.
An autopsy will be done to determine a cause of death, Fresno County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said.
In the past, deaths at Fresno State fraternity houses eventually led to the dissolution of local chapters, the Fresno Bee reported.
Penn State, Louisiana State, Florida State Universities, Texas State, Ohio State and Michigan universities last year suspended Greek activities due to a student’s death or incidents involving fraternities and sororities.