Drinking at underage party had role in exposure death of star W. Minn. athlete

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 21, 2014 - 1:20 PM

Drinking and exposure to winter’s elements killed the star high school football player, who fled when an underage party at a vacant western Minnesota farmhouse was being busted, authorities said.

Drinking and exposure to winter’s elements killed Michael Anyasike, the star high school football player, who ran when an underage party at a vacant western Minnesota farmhouse was being busted, authorities said.

Anyasike, 18, a senior standout on the Dawson-Boyd High School football team, died from “hypothermia due to environmental exposure,” said a statement from the La Qui Parle Sheriff’s Office that cited the medical examiner’s findings. “Alcohol consumption was listed as a contributing factor to the death,” the statement continued.

The Sheriff’s Office also noted Thursday that Anyasike had been outdoors for about 12 hours from when he and the other teens fled the party northeast of Madison in the early hours of March 9. A deputy reported 20 vehicles were parked at the farmhouse on that weekend night.

When Anyasike didn’t return home that night, his family called authorities, who began searching at noon on Sunday. He was found two hours later about a mile northwest of the party outside at a different farm. He was taken by ambulance to the Madison Hospital, where he died.

The Dawson-Boyd football team made it to the Prep Bowl last fall for a third consecutive time, losing to Class 1A champion Mahnomen to round out a 12-2 season. Anyasike and his fellow Blackjacks won the state title in 2011 and were second in 2012.

Authorities haven’t said where the underage drinkers at the party obtained alcohol, but the county has a social host law, which holds criminally responsible any adult who allows a group of people under 21 to drink alcohol on public or private property.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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