This is a representational image. Pixabay

18-year-old Sam Westmoreland, a native of Tupelo was found dead at a church on Wednesday, Oct. 19. He was a freshman offensive lineman at Mississippi State and was majoring in industrial technology, said reports.

According to a spokesperson for the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office Westmoreland’s body was discovered after they were called to Blackjack Missionary Baptist Church in Starkville regarding a death investigation.

The spokesperson said authorities still had “no reason to suspect foul play” at this point.

The cause of Westmoreland’s death is still unknown. The Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office said a thorough investigation is still ongoing.

Mississippi State said that the current investigation involves a combined effort from the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, the Oktibbeha County Coroner’s Office, and university departments.

In a statement head football coach Mike Leach said “The Mississippi State Athletics Family is heartbroken by the sudden death of Sam Westmoreland.”

“Sam was a beloved son, brother, and teammate, and a tremendous young man with a limitless future. He will always be remembered and deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him," he added.

He also said “The entire MSU Family mourns as our thoughts and prayers go out to the Westmoreland family. Our highest priority is the support of the Westmoreland family and our student-athletes during this troubling time.”

In a separate statement, Mississippi State athletics director John Cohen said, “We are heartbroken by the sudden loss of Sam Westmoreland. Mississippi State is a family, and we are all mourning during this trying time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Westmoreland family and everyone who knew and loved Sam.”

Mississippi State president Mark E. Keenum added, “One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned while leading this great university is that the tragic loss of one of our students diminishes all of our students — and all of us at Mississippi State feel the impact of Sam Westmoreland’s death."

“My prayers are with Sam’s family and friends, with his MSU teammates and coaches, and with the Tupelo community during this most difficult time,” he added.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.