DeLand police: Stetson student who died ingested narcotics, according to roommate

There are several resources available to Stetson students

DELAND, Fla. – A roommate told Deland Police 21-year-old Kaleb Walker, a student at Stetson University in Deland, had snorted narcotics before he died, according to a police report.

Autopsy and toxicology reports have not been released but the police report describes a scene in an on-campus apartment where drugs were used Saturday night before Walker was found unresponsive.

A Stetson public safety officer called 911 to report “an unconscious person at one of our fraternity houses.”

Stetson clarified the apartment on Fraternity Circle is near fraternity housing but is not a fraternity house itself.

“His roommate called in and said he’s been knocking at his door for a few minutes now and he’s unresponsive,” the safety officer told a 911 dispatcher.

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According to the police report, the responding officer heard a paramedic point out a “rolled up bill,” stating “there is powder around the bill.”

The officer asked a roommate, “what narcotics [did] Kaleb take?” And how?

“By snorting it,” the roommate replied.

Stetson said Walker was “was transported Saturday night from his on-campus residence in House D to AdventHealth DeLand, where he was later pronounced deceased.”

Walker’s friends were stunned.

“It was really just super surreal,” Mario Belfiore said. “I never would’ve expected it out of him. He was one of the nicest kids I’ve ever known.”

Police said “foul play” is not suspected.

Cory Lancaster, Assistant Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Media Relations, said Walker’s passing “remains under investigation, and we are not in a position to provide additional details or speculate.”

“The Stetson Community continues to mourn the tragic loss of student Kaleb Walker,” Lancaster said. “However, we understand this terrible incident has sparked dialogue about potential drug use on campus and the resources that Stetson provides its students to avoid, address and overcome addiction challenges. First and foremost, the well-being of all of our students, faculty and staff is paramount.”

Lancaster listed several resources available to Stetson students:

  • • Stetson’s Wellness & Recreation department runs a program to address prescription drug misuse. Fronk Scholars provide peer education and support, raise awareness and host events.
  • • Narcan is on hand for certain employees and available to all others on campus. Education around Narcan use is also provided to prevent opioid overdose deaths.
  • • Stetson promotes a strong medical amnesty policy around alcohol and drugs. This encourages reporting of concerns and medical emergencies with amnesty to those involved. We care about safety first and foremost.
  • “Like on every college campus in the country, we are deeply committed to limiting the impact of drugs on our students. We work diligently to foster a safe, open and positive education environment for our community,” Lancaster said.
  • At UCF, Health Services gives away the opioid-reversing drug Narcan - for free - to all students and staff.
  • Lancaster said at Stetson “Narcan is provided for free to students and employees.”
  • UCF students are also learning “bystander training” - how to recognize an overdose and how to act.

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.