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Questions remain about death of UNC student

Questions continue about the sudden passing of UNC Chapel Hill senior Harris Pharr.
Questions continue about the sudden passing of UNC Chapel Hill senior Harris Pharr.

The 21-year-old died Thursday. Police are still not saying how he died.

Harris was a member of Chi Phi fraternity and "Rush" chair. It has been a rough year for the fraternity, which is on probation "following an investigation into alleged alcohol and hazing incidents from last fall."

Fraternity members have left for the summer, but others on the campus are deeply saddened by his death.

"I just thought it was utterly tragic," said student Lexie Santiago. "It's always so terrible to have a student lost."

Harris is originally from Raleigh and graduated from Broughton High School before heading to UNC Chapel Hill.

People who knew him describe him as smart and gregarious. He was majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in physics and Spanish.

A family friend said Harris spent a lot of time in labs and had aspirations to work in the Research Triangle Park or in Seattle for Boeing.

The national Chi Phi fraternity released a statement on its website about his death:

"We offer our thoughts and condolences to the Pharr family and friends. Staff and local Alumni leaders will work with university officials to provide guidance and support to our Chapter Members at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill during this difficult time."

"Everybody is mourning the loss of a student here," Santiago said. "We have such a tight-knit student community."

"Obviously, when something like that happens you really feel because you can relate," said John Derin, another student. "You're a kid here and you see him every day, and you know, I didn't know him personally, but I think he had a lot of people who cared about him."

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