UPDATE: UW-Whitewater Student's Death Ruled An Accident

UPDATED Wednesday, October 10, 2012 --- 2:11 p.m.

Press Release from the Walworth Co. Sheriff's Department:

UPDATE: The Walworth County Coroner’s Office has ruled the death of Benjamin Fuder as an accident due to a fall from the rim to the floor of the limestone quarry. The cause of death was due to traumatic head trauma along with significant other conditions, which were the presence of ethanol, cannabinoids and psilocin.

The Walworth County Sheriff's Office has concluded this investigation and finds no evidence of any criminal behavior associated with this death and agrees with the Walworth County Coroner’s Office that the manner of death was accidental.


UPDATED Wednesday, August 1, 2012--6:10p.m.

WHITEWATER--UW Whitewater student Benjamin Fuder was last seen shortly after midnight on Saturday morning. He was reported missing that night and police found his body in an area quarry the next morning.

Some of the circumstances surrounding Benjamin's death seem mysterious--and his family says they have questions about what happened to him. "He would have had to leave the bar, get something to eat and walk over a mile past his house just to reach this point," described his brother, Shane.

To get to the quarry, Shane says he would have had to have walked way past his residence--in the dark. "He would have had to walk down the street here, no sidewalk, no lights, no houses, no reason to come here," said Shane. "Stumbled all this way, a mile past his house down this gravel road and through some really thick brush."

Family members say he knew his way home--and he wasn't depressed--so it seems unlikely that he'd have wandered to the area intentionally. That's why they think this may not have been an accident.
"This was not a slip and fall accident, this was not a suicide obviously, he was, you know, the target," said Joshua Fuder, another of Benjamin's siblings.

They say they're hoping the official investigation yields some answers for them.

They want to know if Benjamin might have been drugged.
Shane says they're having a third party conduct a toxicology report.
"We've decided not to cremate him yet," he said. "We're going to wait until we can do our own toxicology report and have someone else we supplied go over the evidence and the body and stuff. So we don't want to, you know, we're trying to stay objective trying to do this right so we don't regret anything down the road."

They say they don't want another family to have to go through a similar loss--which is why Benjamin's dad, Brad Fuder, is reminding other college-aged kids to be careful and stay safe when out.
"When you're in the bars you have to watch that nobody puts anything in your drinks, don't leave your drinks laying around, always be in groups," he said.

Authorities have said that there was no indication of foul play in Benjamin's death--but also said this is an on-going investigation.

Shane is looking into things like having surveillance cameras installed in the area so this doesn't happen to another family.

We talked with a spokesman for the quarry.
He says they can't make any comments at this time, but that they'll consider all options

UPDATED Monday, July 30, 2012--5:30p.m.
Some are searching for answers after a UW Whitewater student's body was found in an area quarry early Sunday morning. Twenty-one year old Benjamin Fuder was reported missing Saturday night--after last being seen shortly after midnight Saturday morning.

We spoke with Fuder's brother, as well as several of his friends, and all of them are asking for anyone with information to come forward.
They saying they don't think this was an accident.
That's because the quarry was not anywhere near where he lived.

The Walworth County Sheriff told us that at this point there is no indication of foul play, but said it is an on-going investigation.
That's why they want to hear from anyone who may have seen or had contact with Ben before he was reported missing.

Fuder's brother told us he's searching for answers about what happened to Ben: "He wouldn't have stumbled a mile past his house, he wouldn't, you know, he wouldn't have gone down a gravel maintenance road, through some shrubs and over the edge of a cliff," said Shane Fuder, Ben's brother. "Sounds like way too much work for a drunk kid that just wants to go home."

The sheriff tells us that they're waiting to make a judgement as to whether or not alcohol played a part in Fuder's death. The autopsy was conducted this morning and they're waiting for the results of that and the toxicology report.

In particular they want to hear from the person who found Ben's cellphone. We're told the person used it to contact Ben's girlfriend and she asked them to leave the phone at his residence.
Officials say this person is not in trouble, they just need him or her to come forward so they can ask where the phone was found.

UPDATED Sunday, July 29, 2012 --- 7:55 p.m.

Whitewater Police tell NBC15 someone did anonymously turn the victim's phone in. Police don't know who that was. Police want to ask that person where they found the phone.

WHITEWATER, Wis. (AP) -- A missing University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student has been found dead in a limestone quarry in Walworth County.

The sheriff's office says the body of 21-year-old Benjamin R. Fuder was found Sunday about 6:45 a.m. The circumstances of his death were not immediately released, although foul play is not suspected.

Fuder was last seen in downtown Whitewater shortly after midnight Saturday morning. He was reported missing late Saturday night.

His body was found at the Whitewater Limestone Quarry in the Town of Whitewater, just outside the Whitewater city limits. The coroner responded and identified the body as that of Fuder, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff David Graves says authorities don't suspect foul play at this time, although the investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted Sunday, July 29, 2012 --- 4:43 p.m.

Press Release from the Walworth Co. Sheriff's Department:

On Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 11:37 p.m., members of the Whitewater Police Department received a report of a Whitewater resident and UW Whitewater student Benjamin R. Fuder as missing. Mr. Fuder was last seen on the morning of Saturday, July 28, 2012 in the downtown area at approximately 12:30 a.m.

At approximately 6:45 a.m. today, a body was found in Walworth County just outside the city limits of Whitewater, at Whitewater Limestone Quarry, in the Town of Whitewater. The Walworth County Coroner was notified and subsequently identifed the body as Mr. Fuder. Mr. Fuder was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation remains ongoing. Whitewater Police Department detectives are working closely with the Walworth County Sheriff's Office detectives in a joint investigation. They are seeking any information individuals may have on this investigation, to include the return of the victim's cellular phone by an unidentified person. If you have any information please contact Walworth County Detective Troy Pagenkopf at 262-741-4426.

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