The day after the body of a missing Penn State student was found, authorities continue to uncover details surrounding Joseph Dado's death, which a coroner ruled accidental Tuesday afternoon.
Dado, 18, died of head trauma after he fell off a wall near an exterior stairwell of the Steidle Building, Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers said.
Now, toxicology test results expected in the coming weeks will determine whether Dado had drugs or alcohol in his system.
Dado was last seen by Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) fraternity members at about 3 a.m. Sunday, leaving the 319 N. Burrowes Road house for his East Halls dorm, Penn State Police said.
At about 6 p.m. Monday, Penn State maintenance workers found the freshman's body at the bottom of the stairwell, about 75 yards away from the fraternity, Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said. Powers said all evidence indicates that Dado was alone, including a witness who saw the freshman walking by himself in the area. Police have been looking for footprints in the area, she said.
An 8-foot brick retaining wall connects the front of the Steidle and Hosler Buildings on Pollock Road. In a parking lot behind the buildings, a middle section with a mechanical room connects the two buildings.
A gray wooden fence near the mechanical room encloses a grassy rectangular area between the mechanical room and the Steidle Building. A mechanical room door is located at the bottom of four concrete steps in the rectangular area.
Police believe Dado fell about 15 feet from the top of the retaining wall to the concrete steps below.
Penn State Police were assisted Monday by the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police and the State College Police Department.
The FBI had "very limited involvement" in the search and is no longer working on the investigation, FBI Special Agent J.J. Klaver said. He said the FBI was notified as a "heads up" in case the search extended beyond Pennsylvania borders.
A state police helicopter flew over west campus at the request of Penn State Police, Powers said.
The State College Police Department provided "staffing at all levels," including detectives and commanders who assisted Penn State officers, said State College Police Department Capt. Dana Leonard.
Leonard said Monday's search was not unusual and noted that there is no procedure or time limit to begin actively searching for a missing person.
"That's an urban myth," Leonard said. "That's been long ago outdated."
Though police have uncovered many details regarding Dado's death, still more questions remain for his friends.
"There's questions that I don't know -- like how he ended up across the street if he was headed for East Halls," said Dado's roommate Ryan Stroup. "I don't know what was completely in his system to make him accidentally do something like that."
Stroup said Dado's family members have begun picking up Dado's belongings from his dorm room.
"It feels a little empty," Stroup said. "Everyone's condolences and support definitely helps."
Penn State President Graham Spanier released a statement Tuesday night regarding Dado's death. He called on students to remember to look out for one another's safety and to act with that commitment in mind.
"Joe Dado's death reminds us that we are all Penn Staters," Spanier wrote. "Each of us has a fundamental obligation to tend to one another's needs. We study and work together; we play together; we weep as one.
"The Penn State family has lost one of its own. We must do whatever we can to lose no more."
Tuesday night, one blue candle among hundreds remained lit along the sidewalk on Pollock Road, the remnants of Monday night's makeshift memorial that followed the announcement of Dado's death.
Penn State student Casey Bartoe (freshman-biochemistry) said she left a note at the memorial in honor of Dado's family.
"And into the paradise may the angels lead you," the note read. "Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."
Student Asher Evans (graduate-physics), who stopped to read the note Tuesday night, said the display exemplified a positive aspect of the Penn State community.
"It's refreshing to see people come together and show that they care so much about human life," Evans said. "It's sad it takes something like this to remind us that we care about each other."