New details released about Texas A&M fraternity death

Published: Dec. 6, 2016 at 10:37 PM CST
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Investigators are trying to figure out why a 20-year-old Texas A&M student died Tuesday at an off-campus fraternity house.

Fraternity members aren't commenting on how a Sigma Phi Epsilon member died.

The Brazos County Sheriff's Office was called to the house on Graham Road North Tuesday afternoon after residents found Matthew Hayes unresponsive and gave him CPR.

"On our arrival, they'd already ceased those efforts, and it was obvious he was deceased," said Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk. "Our investigation continues, but initially we've learned that he was out at a party the night before [and] had come home with a group of people he lives with their at the fraternity house. They thought he was sleeping in [and] didn't bother him. It wasn't until later in the afternoon that they finally checked on him and found him in the condition he was in," said Sheriff Kirk.

Hayes was a sophomore at Texas A&M majoring in engineering according to the TAMU directory.

KBTX has also learned that Hayes was valedictorian of his high school class in 2015 at Legacy Christian Academy in Beaumont.

The sheriff tells us there were no signs of trauma on the 20-year-old's body. Officials say they won't know how he died until autopsy and pathology results come in.

"We've talked to probably as many as eight people last night as a result of our initial investigation, and we're continuing that part of the investigation today," said Sheriff Kirk.

Hayes is the second A&M fraternity member to die this semester.

In August, Anton Gridnev, 19, died from a drug overdose at the Sigma Nu house also off campus.

On campus, many students hadn't heard about this latest death.

"I do have some friends in Sig Ep, and they are all great guys," said Abby Starck, a Texas A&M student. "There's nothing wrong with being in Greek life...I think we just should be united and connected as one. It's hard, but I think we should be focusing on like his life rather than his death."

"Well it's obviously a tragedy, and it's so sad to hear about a fellow Aggie passing away--especially having Silver Taps last night where we honored another fallen Aggie," said Alex Guidry, another Texas A&M student. "It's sad to hear."

News 3 also stopped by the department that oversees fraternities and sororities for Texas A&M Greek members, and officials there had no additional information to share.

Hayes' high school in Beaumont also declined to speak with KBTX Wednesday about their alum's death.


The Brazos County Sheriff's Office is investigating a death at a Texas A&M University fraternity house.

Authorities say Matthew Hayes, 20, was found unresponsive at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house off Graham Road.

An autopsy has been ordered to figure out a cause of death.

According to A&M's online directory, Hayes was a sophomore at A&M majoring in engineering.

Hayes was a 2015 graduate of Legacy Christian Academy in Beaumont. He was also his class valedictorian.

The sheriff's office says he was last seen alive by his fraternity brothers around midnight the day before, after a party. The students thought he was asleep.

News 3 reached out to the fraternity Tuesday night. They told us they could not comment on the issue.

Sigma Phi Epsilon is a college fraternity with chapters on 228 campuses nationwide. More than 318,000 men have joined SigEp since its founding in Richmond, Va. on November 1, 1901.

In August, a 19-year-old Sigma Nu fraternity member died from a drug overdose at the organization's home in College Station. Several fraternity members there were arrested on drug-related charges.

If you have any information please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 979-361-4900, or Crime Stoppers at 979-775-TIPS (8477).