Western student Alex Binkerd died early Wednesday morning, and his death is currently under investigation.
Binkerd, 20, was pronounced dead when the medics arrived at his home. The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be drug-related, though the exact substance cannot be identified until additional toxicology reports are completed.
Bellingham Police Department does not suspect foul play, public information officer Bob Vander Yacht said. A detective is assigned to the case to investigate to get as many answers as possible for the family and friends of Binkerd.
“We are very sad for the family and the Western student community,” Vander Yacht said.
Binkerd, who would be a sophomore in the computer science major, was an honors student and a sprinter for the Western Track and Field team. He went to Redmond High School and University of Washington before attending Western.
Assistant track coach David Burnett said he knew Binkerd well and not only as a great athlete, but as a studious and bright student.
“He was a goofy kid, he always offered comic relief to the team,” Burnett said.
Burnett said he was grateful to have had the chance to coach Binkerd and that he should be remembered for what a great person he was.
A memorial service for Alex Binkerd will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Timberlake Christian Church, located at 4505 236th Ave. N.E. in Redmond, Wash, according to a WesternToday press release.
Western Counseling Center staff members are available to any students seeking assistance. The Counseling Center is located in Old Main 540 and can be reached at 360-650-3164 during business hours.
Editor’s note: Western Front News Editor Marilyn Napier contributed to this story.