CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Police at Appalachian State University are investigating how a student from Charlotte died, after he was found in a creek Saturday morning.
Tyler Blalock, 19, was identified by the university Saturday afternoon.
A passerby called police around 8 a.m. after seeing the young man’s body in Kraut Creek, which runs through Durham Park on campus.
Police have not released a cause of death, and calls to the coroner’s office were not returned Saturday night.
Blalock’s mother, Lynn, said police told her it looked like he hit his head.
“I know where he was found this morning,” cried Blalock between sobs, “but I just need, in order to find peace in my mind, I need to know the truth.”
Lynn Blalock said she doesn’t understand how her son, a lifeguard during his summers in Charlotte, could end up dead in a creek.
“I know he wasn’t there alone,” she said. “I know he wouldn't have been there alone.”
L.J. Bryant grew up with Tyler, and came to his mother’s house Saturday night to express his condolences. He remembers when he first met Tyler and his brother Derek, when he moved to the Cheshunt neighborhood in north Charlotte.
“They were one of the first kids to come to my house and ask me if I wanted to play,” said Bryant.
Bryant said he felt like a “big brother” to Tyler -- even looking out for him when he started his freshman year at North Mecklenburg High School. He also mentored Tyler when he played football for North Meck. They had just talked about going to an AppState game together.
He is taking the loss of his friend hard. He hopes there wasn’t foul play involved.
“He was a good kid -- never seen that child have any problems,” said Bryant. “I just pray that everything comes out and everything's okay.”
Lynn Blalock said her son was so organized, he even ironed his T-shirts in the morning before he wore them. He also loved the outdoors and majored in sustainable development at AppState because he wanted to do something good for the environment.
She made an emotional plea for anyone with information to come forward and tell police.
“Anybody that knows anything... or somebody that was with him last night.. to just come forward and talk to the police,” she sobbed, “just so I can know what happened to my baby. That's all I ask … and I beg for that.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the ASU Police Department at 828-262-2150.