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California College Student Died Due To Fraternity Hazing, School Finds

A tragic death in southern California is putting hazing at the center of the debate, once again.

The incident happened over the summer, when a group of students from California State University, Northridge were blindfolded and forced to walk 18 miles on the Angeles National Forest without adequate shoes.

The fraternity pledge hike apparently took the life of Armando Villa, 19, who was found barefoot and his feet bloody back in July. According to reports, he had run out of water.

On Friday, CSUN president Dianne F. Harrison announced that a two-month investigation carried by the school has confirmed that hazing was involved in the death of the boy, who had just completed his freshman year.

Pi Kappa Phi, the fraternity that held the hike, has agreed to close its chapter while a criminal investigation is underway.

“The report findings are deeply disturbing,” Harrison said in a statement read during a press conference.

"Hazing is stupid, senseless, dangerous and against the law in California," she added. "It is a vestige of a toxic way of thinking in which it was somehow OK to degrade, humiliate and potentially harm others."

Harrison said that some students may be disciplined and possibly expelled.

"Hazing is an awful practice. It cost our son his life. And it ought to be banned across the country," said Betty and Joseph Serrato, Villa's mother and stepfather. "No one else should suffer because of this barbaric ritual that endangers and ridicules others just for the enjoyment of immature young men."

Villa’s aunt, Maria Castenada, told Fox 11 News that the family still has many questions.

“It’s been 67 days since we lost him,” she said, “and we still don’t have answers.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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