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Coroner's office provides official cause of teen's death on NDSU campus

Devin Delaney, 17, in a senior photo. Delaney, of Savage, Minn., and a senior at neighboring Burnsville high school, died in an NDSU residence hall while visiting friends on Sept. 17. (Submitted photo)

FARGO — A teenager who died in a North Dakota State University residence hall last month died of natural causes, according to the findings of an autopsy.

Devin Delaney, 17, died from a malfunctioning beating of his heart that was likely brought on by a viral infection, said Darin Haverland, deputy coroner with the Cass County Coroner's Office.

Haverland said on Monday, Oct. 16, that the autopsy was done by a forensic pathologist at the University of North Dakota.

He said Delaney may not have been aware of the problem, other than experiencing symptoms of a cold.

Delaney's father, Tom Delaney, earlier released similar information, stating that he wanted to ease any fears on campus and to reassure the friends his son was visiting when he died.

"I'm comforted by the fact that he just passed in his sleep, peacefully," Tom Delaney said.

The father said the autopsy showed no illicit or prescription drugs in his son's system and only a negligible amount of alcohol.

Devin Delaney, a senior at Burnsville High School, was found dead Sunday, Sept. 17, in NDSU's Sevrinson Hall, where he had been staying with a friend for the weekend.

Tom Delaney said he knows his son and friends were drinking some the night before, but there's no indication they overdid it and no evidence it was a factor in his death.

"There wasn't any physical action or drinking too much, that's all eliminated as even being related," Delaney said.

Dave Olson
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