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Autopsy shows teen visitor accidentally drowned on CMU campus last fall

County prosecutor determines no charges will be filed

Contact: Heather Smith

​Autopsy results show 18-year-old Michael Hartnett of Dearborn Heights accidentally drowned on the Central Michigan University campus last fall, and Isabella County Prosecutor Risa Scully today announced she will not file charges in the case.

Hartnett, a student at Wayne State University, was visiting friends at CMU at the time of his death. CMU police launched a search of campus after Hartnett was reported missing Sunday, Oct. 5. His body was recovered from a pond adjacent to Park Library later that day. The medical examiner determined the drowning occurred while Hartnett was intoxicated.

“Words cannot describe the continued heartache we feel for the parents, family and friends of Michael Hartnett,” CMU President George E. Ross said. “Michael’s death was a tragic loss.

“Excessive consumption of alcohol is a serious issue at universities across the nation. There’s no easy answer, no quick fix,” Ross said. “This case highlights not only Michael’s tragedy, but the sad and overwhelming impact on those left behind, including his friends and others who were with him throughout the weekend.” 

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