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Student Dies After Ninth Story Fall at Penn Tower

A student died at approximately 3:43 this morning after he fell off the balcony on the ninth floor of Penn Tower, the State College Police Department confirmed.

Conor F. Macmannis, 20, was pronounced dead shortly after the Centre County Coroner’s Office arrived. Homicide has been ruled out but police are not sure at this time if the death was a suicide attempt or accidental.

Limited information is currently available as police conduct interviews with students who witnessed the fall at Penn Tower, 255 E. Beaver Ave. Preliminary investigation indicates drugs and alcohol appear to have been a factor in the fall.

The cause of death will be released after the autopsy is conducted. A toxicology test, which will be released in the next few days, will reveal more information about what happened.

“It’s tragic,” said Penn State spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz. “We’re trying to come to grips with it ourselves. It’s just so sad.”

Mountz also mentioned that Penn State will reach out to students who may have known or been close to Macmannis. She added that CAPS is always available for counseling.

Our hearts go out to the family and everyone who knew Macmannis, who was a a kinesiology major and on the track and field team at Penn State Behrend before coming to University Park.

The death was first reported by The Daily Collegian.

UPDATE — 5:45 p.m. 

State College Police Lt. Mark Argiro says that until the results of the toxicology report are returned, the investigation will move forward by interviewing witnesses and those close to the deceased. He estimates that dozens of interviews will need to be done before this investigation ends.

“I believe that we have ruled out that he was thrown from the balcony,” said Lt. Argiro. “I don’t believe that comments were made by any individuals that indicated that anyone wanted to take their lives, so naturally that brings us to an accidental fall.”

The nature of that accident will be heavily dependent on what information the toxicology report holds.

“Toxicology reports can sometimes take a week or more, and that is really going to influence how we look at this investigation,” said Lt. Argiro. “As the media release stated, drugs and/or alcohol are thought to be a factor, but what specific types of drugs and/or alcohol, we don’t know.”

Police said at a press conference earlier this afternoon that the individual is believed to have fallen from apartment 907.

Onward State will continue to provide updates as we continue to receive information on this investigation.

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Jessica Tully

Jessica Tully is a first-year law student at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. She graduated in May 2014 with degrees in journalism and political science.

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