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DA: Looks like that BC student just fell in the water

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports on the preliminary investigation into the death of Franco Garcia, the BC student whose body was found in the Chestnut Hill Reservoir yesterday morning:

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not yet ruled on cause or manner of death pending further toxicological testing, some of it at the Garcia family's request, but the examination did not reveal any broken bones or other significant injury. Those observations, along with cash and other personal effects retrieved from Mr. Garcia’s clothing, are consistent with an accidental fall into the water. The investigation into the young man’s final hours remains ongoing, however, and State Police detectives assigned to the case still urge anyone with information on his activities during the early morning hours of Feb. 22 to call 617-727-8817, ext. 1, or Boston College Police at 617-552-4440.

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Sad and I could see that happening after a night out at a bar or just walking around a water body in the dark. Walking along in the dark, slip, hit head on rocks, get knocked out or too disoriented to get out of water. Could happen to anyone.

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I hope for the sake of this poor kid's family that this proves to be the cause.

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But the sides of the reservoir aren't steep cliffs or anything. Unless you're intoxicated or injured in the fall what's to keep you from simply climbing back out again?

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Can't swim? Panic? Hit head on rocks? A lot of people die in falls into shallow/still water.

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Plus, as I recall, it was cold that night. Hypothermia can set in pretty quickly on a cold night in cold water.

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I touched on this on the other thread.

1) the sides of the reservoir are steeper than they appear from the top of the embankment (or in the pictures that were posted the other day). 2) the rocks at the waterline are covered in algae or other slippery substances which would make it extremely difficult for someone to get a decent foot hold below the water line - which would mean he would have had to been able to pull himself (with increased weight from clothes) up with arms only until his feet could get above the waterline. 3) this poor kid was wearing a winter-type jacket, pants, etc., all of which would have become very heavy very quickly upon falling into the water. 4) Someone else already touched on how quickly hypothermia could have set in -particularly at that time of year.

To make it even worse, the height of the embankment that surrounds most of the reservoir (and depending on where he might have gone in, the presence of a wooded buffer between the water and adjacent roadways), would have made it less likely that anyone would have heard any cries for help - particularly at that hour.

And as you point out, all of these things presume that he was not injured or otherwise incapacitated when he went into the water - and that he knew how to swim in the first place.

I wonder if this might lead DCR to install lifelines/buoys around the perimeter of the Reservoir. However, given the state's limited liability and what I presume is a reluctance to in any way encourage people to attempt to wade into the Reservoir, I don't think it's likely.

This is just a miserable, terrible, awful and sad story all around. Gosh, I feel so bad for this poor kid's family.

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I've never walked along the reservoir after dark. Is the path lit? How easy would it be to take a misstep and fall into the water?

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Most definitely a place where an accident like this could happen.

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Agreed. It's one of darker places that I know of in the the urban core.

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in the whole area. Those few days when it was in the 80s, I went for an evening run that ended in the dark. The path was pretty full of people enjoying the weather, many with flashlights. On the woods side of the reservoir, there is no lighting at all. On the road side, you get what light shines from the street. Maybe just lighting will help? But we're again confronted with the money issue.

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The only lights are the street lights on Beacon St and whatever filters through the trees from Chestnut Hill Driveway. I used to run around there before sunrise, and oftentimes there was more light from the moon and stars than from anywhere else. I kept to the side of the path away from the water because I was worried about falling in.

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Have you ever encountered the guys who hang out on the hill behind the hockey rink?

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No, thank God. I only ever encountered other runners and a guy walking his standard poodle. He was nice, he'd say "good morning" to me every day and keep right on walking.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smiley_face_murder_th...

For the record this is a conspiracy theory among people in denial about men drinking and having basic slip-and-fall accidents that involve water.

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This theory gets trotted out every time there's an incident like this. Seems pretty far-fetched to me, but what do I know. Just another reason to teach your kids not to get rip-roaringly drunk and go out for walk. This is a dumb-assed way to go if I ever heard of one, and my sympathies are with his family. Sounded like he was a great kid.

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when the body is recovered this many months later?

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what about his friends? I was a bit creepy and found poor Franco's facebook page. Looks like him and his friends may have been celebrating a 21st birthday. Maybe their memories are clouded by alcohol.

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I would just say read up on the Smiley Face stuff before commenting. Sure, people get ripped and fall in water and die. Some of these people have some pretty unlikely ways of winding up near the water, let alone IN it. The smiley angle is a little odd, (and honestly, the damned things are literally anywhere you'd find graffiti), but some of the alleged victims have other circumstances within their stories that make it seem as though foul play may be involved. This kid? Who knows? But one kid falling in the water doesn't negate the matter that others may have been dumped in the water.

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