19-year-old man falls from upper level; no signs of foul play found
A student's body was found in the basement of the Student Union Memorial Center yesterday morning.
A UA employee discovered the body of Gregory Thomas Bauer near Cellar in Wilbur's Underground around 6 a.m.
Police arrived shortly after, and the student was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tucson Fire Department, said Sgt. Eugene Mejia, University of Arizona Police Department spokesman.
Bauer, 19, was a music sophomore from Flagstaff.
Although the immediate cause of death has not been determined, he did suffer trauma wounds, Mejia said.
Because of the area where he was found, which is an open atrium from the fourth floor to the basement, it looked like the student had jumped, fallen or been pushed, Mejia said.
There was no sign of foul play, and detectives are investigating Bauer's death as a "probable suicide," he said.
The cause of death and the distance of Bauer's fall will not be determined until an autopsy has been performed, which is scheduled for today at the Pima County Medical Examiner's office, said Dr. Eric Peters, Pima County medical examiner.
"Virtually all individuals who fall from a height die from a blunt force trauma," Peters said.
High walls protect the sides of the walkways on the third and fourth floors of the student union. Mejia said if someone were to accidentally fall from those levels, that person would have had to make an active attempt to climb the wall.
"There were no witnesses to the incident so we are trying to gather information from family and friends about the mental state of the student," Mejia said. "We want to eliminate all possibilities before a determination of fact is made."
Mejia said police had been in contact with Bauer's parents and roommates.
Police blocked off portions of the east side of the student union shortly after the incident, but the basement and other levels were open by 10 a.m.
Wilbur's Underground, which closes at 2 a.m., is one of the last areas in the student union to close. Custodial staff arrives around 5 a.m. to begin opening the facility, but the body wasn't found until an hour later.
Messages left for student union operations were not returned by press time.
Even though gates block off the student union once it is closed, there are still ways to enter the building including an elevator near the UofA Bookstore, which goes up to the fourth level.
Police are still investigating whether Bauer entered the building at night or in the morning after the first UA staff began unlocking doors, Mejia said.
Testing on whether drugs or alcohol were involved will not be released for about four to six weeks, Peters said.
Counseling services for any students affected are being offered through the Campus Health Center's Counseling and Psychological Services. Students interested can call 621-3334.