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Coroner rules UA student died of natural causes

by Jaime Adame | July 31, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
Old Main on the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville campus is shown in this Aug. 30, 2014, file photo. (NWA Democrat-Gazette file photo)

FAYETTEVILLE — A 20-year-old University of Arkansas student died of natural causes in January at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house, according to a coroner’s report.

Michael George Marron Jr., a house resident, died Jan. 1. The report cites a medical examiner in listing his cause of death as “cardiac rhythm disturbance due to undetermined etiology.” The term “etiology” refers to the cause of a disease or condition.

While the report lists Marron’s manner of death as “natural,” the cause is listed as “Unknown/Other.”

Marron was discovered about 1:15 p.m. in the fraternity’s shower room. Roommates provided CPR aid until medics arrived, according to an investigator’s notes included in the report. He was from Dallas. No other information was listed in the report as far as Marron’s cause of death.

An unnamed investigator’s notes stated that “the decedent partied then night prior and had consumed a large amount of alcohol and may have smoked a little marijuana.”

Marron’s body was taken to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to try to determine the cause of death, the report states.

The Washington County Coroner’s Office did not release a full toxicology report, but Roger Morris, the county coroner, said testing showed that Marron had a blood-alcohol concentration of .04, which is less than the .08 blood-alcohol concentration level at which the driver of a car is considered intoxicated under state law.

Capt. Gary Crain with the University of Arkansas Police Department said that those responding first to the fraternity house found no reason to suspect criminal activity.

“We then depend on the medical examiner to determine if additional investigation is necessary. It is not,” Crain said in an email.

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