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Autopsy: UND student found in rail yard died of blood loss

Blake Ayling is shown in a photo used for his profile on his public Facebook page.

GRAND FORKS - The UND student found dead in March in the rail yard here died of blood loss after his right arm got tangled up in a train and torn off, according to a police report and autopsy results.

Blake Christopher Ayling, 20, also had a blood alcohol content of .287, the report said.

Dr. Mary Ann Sens at the UND Department of Pathology conducted the autopsy.

According to the police report, one of Ayling's roommates told investigators he routinely walked through the train yard as a shortcut to get to campus from their apartment. Police have since determined that his death was an accident, said police Lt. Jim Remer.

Ayling, from Minneapolis, was found on a track at around 7:30 a.m. March 24, after apparently being dragged by the train, but not run over by a wheel. Police said the last time the train moved that day was 4:13 a.m.

The police report said Ayling had marks on his back and the outside of his right leg and his hands appeared dirty with grease and rust.

A friend who was with Ayling earlier that night said they were at the Delta Tau Delta house at 10:30 p.m. and stayed for an hour.

The friend said Ayling was drinking a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor he brought with him, but no one from the house gave Ayling alcohol.

The two men moved to the Pi Kappa Alpha house between 11:30 p.m. and midnight. The friend stayed for about 1½ hours and tried to find Ayling before leaving, but was unable to. He told police he assumed Ayling was still there when he left.

Witnesses who saw Ayling during the night said he was drinking but didn't seem excessively drunk. He left behind a Minnesota Gophers jersey and a backpack at the fraternity house.