The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU Police investigating student’s “unexplained death”

SMU Police Chief Rick Shafer and Associate University Counsel Susan Howe stand outside the SMU House, a campus residence hall, where sophomore Joseph Hunter Green was found dead Friday afternoon.
MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus
SMU Police Chief Rick Shafer and Associate University Counsel Susan Howe stand outside the SMU House, a campus residence hall, where sophomore Joseph Hunter Green was found dead Friday afternoon.

SMU Police Chief Rick Shafer and Associate University Counsel Susan Howe stand outside the SMU House, a campus residence hall, where sophomore Joseph Hunter Green was found dead Friday afternoon. (MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus)

The SMU Daily Police Report Log listed the investigation into the death of 21-year-old sophomore Joseph Hunter Green as a ‘homicide’ Monday morning, though it has now been changed to the classification ‘unexplained death.’

University spokesman Kent Best said the designation ‘homicide’ is a “technical term.” 

“Nothing has changed,” Best said. “The police have listed any unexplained death as a homicide.”

In a conversation Monday morning, Best said he explained to SMU Police Chief Rick Shafer that ‘homicide’ is “confusing for laypeople.” The police Web site was updated with the new classification as of 11 a.m. Monday.

A statement issued by SMU late Friday afternoon states no foul play is suspected.

Green was pronounced dead in his room at a campus residence hall at 12:36 p.m. Friday. 

Following an autopsy performed Saturday morning, a spokesperson for the Dallas County Medical Examiner said additional screening is required to determine the manner and cause of death. A toxicology test has been ordered, and results may take eight to 10 weeks. No further information will be released from the Medical Examiner’s office until the results come back, the spokesperson said.

The SMU Police Department is working with both the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office and the Texas Rangers to investigate Green’s death. A university spokesperson said it is standard procedure in the case of a student death to involve other law enforcement agencies. 

On Friday, SMU notified the student’s mother, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The family has not yet issued a statement.

Green was living with 18 other students at the SMU House at 3004 SMU Boulevard. SMU is using the building as a residence hall this year following the Kappa Alpha fraternity’s suspension from campus in 2009.

 

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