The Orange County Sheriff office and Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement are continuing the active investigation of drum major Robert Champion’s death.
Champion, who died in November, was allegedly hazed and beaten by band members at the Florida Classic in Orlando.
The Orange County Medical Examiner’s office quickly ruled the drum major’s death as a homicide. The medical examiner reported Champion’s death as a result of bruising from blunt force trauma in many areas of his body.
New details have surfaced suggesting Champion’s death can be linked to his sexual orientation; alleging the incident was a hate crime because he was gay. Champion’s parents however, are refuting such claims. Though they discovered their son was gay, the family’s attorney said his death was not a “hate crime” but a “hazing crime,” according to ABC Worldnews.
According to Kristi Gordon, FDLE’s public information officer, there haven’t been any arrests made but investigators are working diligently to solve the case. “We are conducting a full and thorough investigation,” Gordon said.
“I hope investigators get to the root of the situation soon so a lot of rumors can rest and questions can be answered,” said Alex Kirkland, a fourth-year psychology student from West Palm Beach, Fla.
Though FDLE’s conducting a joint investigation with the Orange County Sheriff Office to solve the case, they are also conducting independent investigations relating to Champion’s death.
According to FDLE’s communications coordinator, Keith Kameg, the investigation regarding financial improprieties in the band is also ongoing and active.
Gov. Rick Scott requested FDLE to investigate possible fraud and financial misconduct in the band after Champion’s death.
“I thought they would’ve made an arrest by now due to the number of witnesses that was there,” said Demestra Davis, a Leon county resident. “The family needs closure.”
Though three students were recently arrested and charged for allegedly hazing and beating band member Bria Hunter, possible suspects in Champion’s case are still unknown.
Because the investigation is classified as ongoing and active, FDLE’s public information, officer as well as the communications coordinator, are not releasing any further details at this time.