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‘He brought an abundance of joy’: Family lawyer identifies 17-year-old found dead in NDSU dorm

FARGO -- A 17-year-old found dead over the weekend in a residence hall at North Dakota State University was identified Monday, Sept. 18, as Devin Delaney by an attorney representing the teen's family. "Yesterday, the Tom and Kjertsen Delaney fami...


FARGO - A 17-year-old found dead over the weekend in a residence hall at North Dakota State University was identified Monday, Sept. 18, as Devin Delaney by an attorney representing the teen’s family.

“Yesterday, the Tom and Kjertsen Delaney family lost their son and brother, Devin,” attorney Paul O. Taylor wrote in a letter released to the public.

Taylor described Delaney, a high school senior from Burnsville, Minn., as a “bright young man with a very promising life ahead of him,” who was passionate about hockey and lacrosse. The letter requested privacy for Delaney’s family.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Delaney’s family with funeral expenses. A comment on the page reads:

“Devin tragically lost his life on Sunday. He was a guy who was incredibly loved and made an impact on many lives. Wherever Devin went, he brought an abundance of joy with. He was there to help anyone in need.”


NDSU police received a call shortly after noon on Sunday, Sept. 17, that there was an unresponsive male at Sevrinson Hall. Paramedics responded and tried to revive Delaney but were unsuccessful.

Mike Borr, director of the University Police and Safety Office, said the deceased was not an NDSU student. Borr did not release the victim’s cause of death.

It is unknown whether alcohol or drugs were involved. There were no apparent signs of foul play, Borr said.

An investigation into Delaney’s death is ongoing. The university said on Sunday that the lead agency in the investigation was the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, but a BCI spokeswoman said the lead agency remained the campus police department.

A campus spokeswoman clarified Monday that the BCI was assisting campus police.

Residents who knew Delaney said he had been staying with a friend on the seventh floor of Sevrinson Hall for the weekend.

Nick Harrom and Brandon Wright, both 18 of Bemidji, Minn., who live on the sixth floor of Sevrinson, said they are friends with a suite-mate of the student Delaney was visiting. They said they hung out with Delaney on Friday night and saw him at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

They said many students had been drinking but that Delaney seemed fine at the time.


“He didn’t seem unusual,” Harrom said. “He was still sitting up, still talking, still functional. There was nothing out of the ordinary.”

Both said they saw Delaney and his friend at the JCI Musical Festival, featuring T-Pain, on Saturday night at Newman Outdoor Field at NDSU. They stopped briefly at the friend’s room early Sunday morning before going back to their room.

Wright said that when Delaney’s friend woke up on Sunday morning, Delaney’s “lips were purple” and he couldn’t wake him, so he immediately called for an ambulance.

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