Search continues for missing ISU
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AMES, Iowa (AP) — Teams of
Iowa State University students and other volunteers were joining trained
searchers, the Civil Air Patrol and law enforcement today to search for a
Abel Bolanos, 19, a
sophomore from Rolling Meadows, Ill., a Chicago suburb, disappeared last
weekend. Iowa State police said he had been drinking at an off-campus party
before he disappeared Saturday between 4 and 4:30 a.m.
The university said groups
of 60 volunteers will assist searchers in three shifts on Tuesday.
``Our hope is that we find
Abel soon,'' Dean of Students Dione Somerville said. ``We are committing all
available resources and continue to work with ISU police, other agencies and
Abel's family to bring him home safely.
His sister begged for his
safe return on Monday, saying he would never have disappeared on his own.
``This is not like him,''
Marivelle Bolanos said at a news conference outside Wallace Hall, a residence
hall where her brother lives. ``Our whole family back home is very concerned.''
Abel Bolanos left his keys
to his dorm room and his car at the party.
On Monday, teams of ISU
students searched residential areas near that apartment complex.
The search included help
from the Iowa State Patrol, which used an aircraft with heat-detection
capability to search for Bolanos in Ames on Sunday night.
Area law enforcement
officials have searched all the rooms in Bolanos' residence hall and the rooms
of an unoccupied residence hall next to it, said Cmdr. Gene Deisinger of the ISU
Bolanos was drinking at
the party before he disappeared but was not upset before he left, Deisinger
``The search is based on
concerns on Abel's welfare,'' said Deisinger. He added that police believe no
foul play was involved in his disappearance.
``We're very concerned if he's been out in the
environment,'' Deisinger said.
The body of a missing Iowa State University student was
found on campus this afternoon. The student’s death remains under investigation.
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April 3rd, 2007
Related News Releases - Updated April 5, 2007
April 4, 2007
Investigation continues regarding the death of Abel M. Bolanos, an Iowa State
University student whose body was found on Tuesday afternoon following an
extensive search process.
April 2, 2007
Assistance sought in locating missing student.
At 3:39 p.m. today rescue personnel were conducting a
search of Lake Laverne (on the Iowa State University campus) when they
discovered the body of a college-age male. The person’s body was found, fully
submerged, in the southeast corner of the lake.
Law enforcement personnel secured the scene and requested
assistance from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Office of
the State Medical Examiner. Iowa State University Police is the lead agency;
however the investigation is being conducted jointly with the Ames Police and
the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Upon recovery, the body was examined and was positively
identified as that of Abel Merlos Bolanos, age 19, of 2303 Wallace Hall. ISU
directory information indicated Bolanos was a sophomore from Rolling Meadows,
IL, majoring in English.
Consistent with information gathered in the investigation
(to date), no obvious signs of foul play were noted. However, the cause of death
has not yet been determined and the case remains under investigation.
An autopsy will be conducted by Dr. Dennis Klein, Assistant
State Medical Examiner, on Wednesday (April 4) at the Iowa Office of the State
Medical Examiner in Ankeny.
Mr. Bolanos was reported missing on Sunday, April 1 after
family and friends had been unable to make contact with him. Since Sunday
afternoon, an exhaustive search has been conducted. The search efforts included
use of multiple aircraft, canine search teams, door to door contacts throughout
the Wallace-Wilson complex and the Campustown area, and physical searches of
several square miles of terrain.
The search involved personnel and resources from a number
of agencies including: Ames Police Department, Ames Fire Department, Star 1
Search and Rescue, Civil Air Patrol, Boone County Search and Rescue, Iowa State
Patrol, Story County Sheriff’s Office, Story County Emergency Management, and
Iowa State University Police and Parking personnel as well as other University
staff. Several specialized canine and underwater search teams (from across the
state) also assisted in the search. Over two hundred community members also
volunteered to assist with search efforts. Iowa State University Police are
grateful for the extraordinary collaboration and support provided by all
agencies and persons who assisted with the search process.
News Stories Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2007 9:14 AM CDT
Drowning shows male drinking risks
College men more likely
to binge drink, then not offer help to each other
By LISA ROSSI
REGISTER AMES BUREAU
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Ames, Ia. - The alcohol-related death of Iowa State University
student Abel Bolanos illustrates two problems.
College men like Bolanos are more likely to binge drink, according to studies
and anecdotal evidence. They are also less likely than college women to help one
another when intoxicated.
Veishea, Iowa State's annual spring festival with a history of binge drinking,
is happening this week. Bolanos' family members said his death should highlight
the importance of students, including men, watching out for each other.
"We can all do more as individuals to care for one another and ourselves," said
Bolanos' sister, Marivelle, who is an Iowa State graduate. "It is not as
socially acceptable for a man to 'check in' with friends and I do think we can
Three of the four alcohol-related accidental deaths among young people in Ames
in the last two years have been young men, two of whom were Iowa State students.
Nationwide 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year
from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, according to a task force on
college drinking created by the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and
Nationally, 50 percent to 60 percent of college men reported heavy drinking
episodes, compared with 34 percent to 40 percent of women, according to a 2002
study published by the national alcohol abuse council's task force.
Bolanos left an off-campus party alone in the early morning hours of March 31.
His body was found in Lake LaVerne on April 3.
Marivelle Bolanos, 28, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, said she
noticed a difference between how college men and college women help each other
when they are drinking. She said she didn't ever remember walking home alone
when she attended ISU.
"Women probably have more closer relationships with their friends in that
manner," she said, adding that her family had talked to Abel Bolanos about
communicating his whereabouts in class, at work, or even at out-of-state parties
in efforts to ensure his safety.
"Men should just probably be as careful," she said.
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Talk among guys: We're not vulnerable
Marivelle Bolanos' observations are shared on the Iowa State campus.
"In my sorority, we really really preach: Stay together. Don't walk alone," said
Bailey Beckner, an 18-year-old Iowa State University freshman from Corydon.
"Guys don't think they are as vulnerable."
Dusty Kroll, an ISU junior from Avoca, said he is aware of the reluctance among
men to walk other men home after one has had too much to drink. He's among a
group of students trying to address that by creating a program he hopes to have
in place by fall that offers free rides for students too drunk to drive or walk
Kroll was friends with a woman who died on campus as a result of binge drinking.
Kelly Laughery, 20, died on Dec. 3, 2005, after a fellow ISU student who was
driving drunk hit her and drove away. Kroll said the program is partly in
response to Laughery's death and partly in response to Bolanos' death.
"We are assuming he was alone and that's why this happened, and that's how our
program is trying to help us out," he said.
Some men, including Lance Jensen, 21, of Indianola, say they do look out for
each other when they are out.
"I have a good group of friends," said Jensen, a junior, after sharing drinks
with a group of men at Cy's Roost on a recent Thursday night. "They look after
me. Say I left here - I would get a phone call or a text from these guys finding
out where I left."
But Max Claassen, a 24-year-old ISU senior from Waterloo, said men are likely to
reject help while drinking.
"I think guys are kind of stubborn compared to women," he said.
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Impulses, risk-taking a deadly combination
Men tend to have lower levels of impulse controls and higher levels of
risk-taking, a deadly combination on college campuses, according to Paul
Gruenewald, scientific director at the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley,
Calif., which studies alcohol and drug abuse.
Gruenewald said colleges have failed to reduce excessive partying. He said
regulations could be imposed on campus environments like Greek houses and campus
parties where alcohol is served.
Men are more likely to accelerate one another's drinking, as opposed to moderate
it, he said.
"There are reasons these deaths occur among men in college situations," said
Gruenewald. "The more we study, the more clear it becomes that many college
environments are dangerous for drinking."
Iowa State does not ban alcohol in fraternities and sororities or on-campus
parties, officials said. However, the university is studying how it can better
reach out to students living off-campus to educate them on how to safely throw a
party, said Tom Hill, ISU vice president of student affairs.
"We need to be sure we are using every opportunity to make sure we are educating
students how to conduct an off-campus function - and if you choose to include
alcohol, what are the precautions; what are concerns?" Hill said.
Statistics show that Iowa's college men are five times more likely to be
arrested by campus police for public intoxication. A total of 589 men were
arrested by campus police at the University of Iowa, Iowa State and the
University of Northern Iowa for public intoxication in the last year, compared
with 108 women at the three universities.
Abel Bolanos was arrested for public intoxication in Ames in September, after
police found him passed out on a sidewalk in Campustown.
At Iowa State, judicial affairs staff do not notify parents of alcohol or drug
misconduct on or off campus, unless it rises to the type of conduct, such as a
felony, that is directed at other members of the university community, said Andy
Alt, an assistant director in ISU's office of judicial affairs.
Alt said he could not say whether Bolanos' parents were notified after he was
arrested for public intoxication in Ames in September, citing federal student
Bolanos' last hours alive in Ames were spent at an apartment party in Campustown.
There, someone took his keys, but did not drive or walk him home when he left
the party at 4 a.m., police said.
"At least one person made a comment to Abel when he was getting ready to go -
they asked him where he was going and asked him not to go," said ISU Police
Commander Eugene Deisinger. "I'm not aware of anyone trying to physically
Reporter Lisa Rossi can be reached at (515) 232-2383 or
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