DeKALB – Officials said Tuesday that a sophomore at Northern Illinois University who fell to his death last month died accidentally after toxicology reports showed he had drugs in his system at the time of his death.
Oluwarotimi “Timi” Okedina, 19, fell Sept. 26 from a window on the 11th floor of Stevenson Towers C. NIU police said Tuesday they had concluded their investigation into how he died.
“Based on the totality of the witness statements and the coroner’s report and the pathologist’s report, it was determined that it (the death) was accidental,” NIU Police Chief Tom Phillips said. “We believe that the presence of LSD and cannabis in his system impaired his judgment and caused him to ignore the risk of exiting the room through the window.”
Phillips said police still are investigating where Okedina, a geology major, got the drugs.
“I was quite surprised at the presence of LSD at NIU because it’s very rare,” Phillips said. “That’s not a drug we come across that often.
DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller said the toxicology report did not reveal whether Okedina habitually used either of the drugs found in his system.
“He didn’t have any criminal history associated with drug use,” Phillips said. “We didn’t get any defining answer from all the people we spoke to. So, depending on who you asked, you got a different story about any past drug use.”
Phillips said the police investigation included talking to all 18 people Okedina came in contact with that day. But, ultimately, he was alone in the dorm room with the hallucinogenic drug in his system when he fell from the window.
Police were called to the 12-story Stevenson Towers C – one of four that make up the complex at the south end of the university’s student housing area – about 10 p.m. Sept. 26. Okedina was found on the ground and was taken to Kishwaukee Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the university.
“The young man locked himself in the room, he got that [window] screen out of there and he went out that window,” Phillips said.
The Daily Chronicle could not immediately reach Okedina’s family for comment.
NIU officials said that drugs are an unfortunate part of society, in general. Spokesman Joe King said, however, that accidental deaths – especially on campus – are rare.
The university offered condolences to the Okedina family.
“The entire campus of Northern Illinois University continues to be saddened by the loss of Oluwarotimi Okedina,” said Eric Weldy, NIU vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family and friends. The news that illegal drugs played a role in the death of Oluwarotimi only add to the tragedy of the loss. We take these issues seriously and give the university’s full support to law enforcement as they continue their investigation into the source of the drugs.”