INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY IN TIGERTOWN …
A 19-year-old Clemson University student was found dead this week … his body floating in the waters just below Lake Hartwell.
Clemson police discovered the body of 19-year-old Tucker W. Hipps of Piedmont, S.C. at around 3:30 p.m. EDT on Monday and alerted the Oconee County Sheriff’s Department – which retrieved the body shortly after 5:00 p.m. Hipps’ was reported missing Monday to campus police.
At this point no one knows … an autopsy is underway and an investigation is pending. So far all police have said is Hipps’ death did not appear to be the result of a swimming or boating accident.
In other words it’s a “suspicious” death … and investigators are treating it as such.
Hipps was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. According to the school, he was participating in an “early-morning group activity run” with his fraternity brothers but did not return from the run.
His fraternity brothers first noticed his absence at a breakfast Monday morning and informed campus police of his status shortly before 2:00 p.m.
Hipps was a sophomore at Clemson who was studying political science. He attended Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley, S.C. and played linebacker for the Wren High School football team. In fact his high school coach told reporter Ron Barnett of The Greenville News he was “one of those guys you could always count on.”
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UPDATE: The Oconee County coronor has concluded Hipps’ death was caused by a head wound consistent with an “unsupported fall.”
UPDATE II: Clemson students are telling FITS Hipps’ death was the result of fraternity hazing.