Autopsy: 'Huffing' likely killed UNC student

Stedman Gage was found unresponsive at an off-campus location. (Image courtesy Facebook)
May 8, 2013 11:03:39 AM PDT
The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released the autopsy results Wednesday on a UNC junior who was found dead in his bed by roommates at their off-campus home in February.

The report says 22-year-old Stedman Gage had a history of substance abuse and was found face-down with a can computer duster/cleaner spray in the bed. There were multiple similar empty cans elsewhere in the room.

The autopsy lists a toxicology report showing the presence of 1,1-difluoroethane in Gage's bloodstream. It's a chemical in the spray that produces an intoxicating effect to people who inhale it. The practice is known as "huffing" or "dusting."

The medical examiner said the most likely cause of death was 1,1-difluoroethane toxicity that likely sent Gage's heart into acute cardiac arrhythmia.

Gage was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and the son of former UNC-system Board of Governors Chairwoman Hannah Gage.

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