PICKENS COUNTY, SC (WYFF) - Two weeks after Upstate officials warned of multiple overdoses caused by a deadly street drug that has become pervasive in the area, a coroner has confirmed that a Clemson student's death in December was caused by the drug.
Pickens County Corner Kandy Kelley said Bowen Paul Ellis' autopsy determined that he died from a combination of cocaine, fentanyl and acetyl-fentanyl. His death was ruled an accident.
Ellis, 19, who was a sophomore forest resource management major, was found unresponsive Dec. 9, in his off-campus apartment by his roommates.
Christopher Miller, Clemson's associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said Ellis' death left the Clemson family heartbroken.
"Please keep Bowen's family in your thoughts and prayers," Miller said.
Bowen's obituary said he loved hunting with his granddad and was an avid fisherman.
"He enjoyed hanging out with his friends at Edisto Beach and had an immense love for the outdoors," his obituary said.
Condolences left on Bowen's obituary page include one that reads: "We only met Bowen once, at a recent event during the last Clemson parents' week-end. Bowen welcomed us, as I sat down to join him, our son and some other boys. The entire time we sat together, Bowen was an engaging, charming gentleman. During the weeks that followed, our son developed a deeper friendship with him. He shared that Bowen always went out of his way to be friendly toward everyone, and was, in turn, well liked by all."
And another reads, "I went to Clemson with Bowen and he was a good friend. I just wanted to give your family my condolences because Bowen was the most loyal and helpful friend I've ever had. He truly changed my life for the better, I'm blessed to have been able to know him. There's only a select few people in the world like him. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your family will forever be in my prayers."
Bowen's family asked that those who desire to make memorials donate to America's VetDogs, in honor of Ellis' beloved dog, Clyde. America's VetDogs is located at 371 East Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, N.Y., 11787-2976.
Clyde was reportedly with Bowen when he died.