Saratoga County

DA: ‘Alcohol alone’ contributed to teen’s death

Toxicology tests on a college student who died this winter in any icy brook showed alcohol in his bo

Toxicology tests on a college student who died this winter in any icy brook showed alcohol in his body but tests for nearly 500 drugs came back negative, leaving city police and prosecutors with no new leads as they continue to investigate his death.

Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III said Wednesday “it appears at this point that it was alcohol alone that was the overriding factor” based on a recently released toxicology report. He renewed his plea for anyone with information to come forward, and said the offer of immunity from prosecution stands.

Alexander Grant, 19, a Boston College student from Westchester County, was visiting friends who attend Skidmore College and went to an off-campus party with them March 5. His body was found under an ice shelf in Putnam Brook on March 8.

What authorities don’t know is what happened to the young man between the time he left a party on Church Street at 11:30 p.m. March 5 and was seen on surveillance tape early March 6 breaking into a medical office at One Care Lane off Church Street.

Grant was only dressed in undershorts, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and one sock when seen on the video tape. He had on the same clothing when his body was found after an extensive search two days later.

Murphy released a prepared statement Wednesday afternoon, explaining that his office had ordered a second toxicology testing after the first toxicology report on Grant done at Albany Medical Center screened for nearly 100 drugs and found none of these drugs in his system.

The second toxicology screening done by a Pennsylvania-based laboratory tested for nearly 400 additional drugs, controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications and any by products of drug interactions — but again found none of these present.

“What concerns us more, however, is that the toxicology, in its absence of information, actually leaves us with more questions than answers,” Murphy said in the statement.

“We still don’t know what affected his body to such a significant degree, which then led to the circumstances that caused his death,” he said. “It appears at this point that it was the alcohol alone that was the overriding factor, at least according to the report.”

The Saratoga Springs Police Department is continuing the investigation into the student’s death and urges anyone with knowledge of Grant’s whereabouts late March 5 and early March 6 to contact them at 584-1800.

An offer of immunity has remained open to people providing police with information about the tragic case and was reaffirmed by the district attorney Wednesday.

“We offered immunity within a week of Alexander’s death to anyone who may have had information and we reaffirm that position today,” Murphy said.

“We remind people that we very much want to know what happened and that they should come forward with information, without fear of prosecution or penalty,” he said.

“Immunity from prosecution is rarely conferred by my office, but given the seriousness of the case, in that a young man died, I think that prosecuting someone for an open container or disorderly conduct is not in anyone’s best interest, especially when that may allow the individual to willingly come forward and provide the police with valuable information as to what happened the night Alexander went missing,” Murphy said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply