Police do not suspect foul play in death of Washington College student

BLAKE ERDMANN

CHESTERTOWN — A Washington College student died early Monday morning in his off-campus residence, the college announced in a news release.

Foul play is not suspected, Chestertown Police Chief John Dolgos said in a telephone interview Monday.

The college identified the student as 21-year-old Blakeslee “Blake” Erdmann, a junior from West Palm Beach, Florida.

A college spokesperson said Erdmann’s parents were notified Monday.

“We offer heartfelt condolences to his parents,” Interim President Wayne Powell said in a prepared statement.

Erdmann lived with other Washington students off campus, according to the college’s news release and an email that Powell sent to students, faculty and staff.

He had returned to Chestertown to begin the required quarantine prior to the Feb. 1 start of the spring semester, according to an email sent to college alumni.

Chief Dolgos said the CPD was dispatched at 12:40 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25 to assist emergency medical providers for what was reported as a cardiac arrest.

One of Erdmann’s roommates called 911.

PFC Howard Eveland and Cpl. Michelle Guerriero were the first on the scene and were performing CPR when EMS personnel arrived, according to Dolgos.

Police headquarters at 601 High St. is not far from Erdmann’s off-campus residence.

Erdmann’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, where an autopsy will be done to determine the manner and cause of death.

Detective Cpl. Chris Pavon is conducting the investigation for the CPD.

According to the news release, members of the college administration were notified of Erdmann’s death at about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

“Our thoughts are with his family and other loved ones as they deal with this devastating loss,” Powell wrote in the email to students and staff.

He added, “The tragic loss of this young man is terrible news and our collective community grieves with his family and loved ones. The hours and days to come will be difficult for many.

“We urge all students to be kind and patient with one another in the coming days and weeks, as people will process this news and their grief in many different ways. Look out for each other and know that we are here to support you as well.”

The college’s Counseling Services arranged for two group support meetings for students earlier this week. Because of social distancing protocols for COVID-19, the meetings were held on Zoom.

Also, the college is planning a moment of silence and reflection to honor Erdmann. No more information was available as of press time Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Erdmann was pursuing a major in business management with a minor in marketing, according to the college’s news release. He was expected to graduate in May 2022.

Erdmann was previously a member of the Shoremen’s lacrosse team and had remained close with his former teammates, according to a college spokesperson.

Listed as a 6-foot, 180-pound attackman, Erdmann played sparingly in 2019 and the COVID-abbreviated 2020 season.

According to his biography on the Washington College Athletics website, Erdmann was a decorated high school player at The Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens.

He was a four-year letterman, playing on two state semifinalist and one finalist team. As a senior he led the team in scoring and earned all-district and all-region honors.

He received the school’s Buccaneer Award for outstanding leadership, citizenship, sportsmanship, scholarship and athletic participation.

Erdmann also played a post-graduate year at Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, New York, where he started on attack and led the team in scoring.

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