BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Search warrants obtained by WAFB indicate authorities believe LSU freshman Max Gruver and other Phi Delta Theta pledges were forced to drink alcohol during a pledge event called "Bible study" on September 13.
LSU Police searched the Phi Delta Theta house on September 14 to find floor cleaner, beer cans, several bottles of hard liquor, and a glass smoking pipe, among other electronic and household items. Police also obtained a search warrant to search all of Gruver's incoming and outgoing phone calls and text messages from September 12 to September 15.
Several of the Phi Delta Theta pledges received text messages about a "Bible study" at the fraternity house at 10 p.m. on September 13. Investigators learned in the "Bible study" pledges were asked questions about the fraternity and if they answered incorrectly they had to drink alcohol. Based on interviews, police determined pledges were forced drink in excess.
A witness and other fraternity members noticed Gruver was highly intoxicated and laid him on a couch in the Phi Delta Theta house and left for the night. The witness returned to the house around 11 the next day and found Gruver on the couch. Several members checked Gruver's pulse to find that it was weak and could not tell if he was breathing. The group then decided to drive Gruver to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.