He Arrived in Cabo for Spring Break. Hours Later, He Was Dead

Arizona State University's Aiden Nevarez, 18, fell 20 feet over a hotel short wall
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2022 2:47 PM CST
College Freshman Dies on Spring Break in Cabo
Stock photo of a beach in Cabo San Lucas.   (Getty Images/JulieHewitt)

The Arizona State University community is mourning one of its own, a college freshman who died while celebrating spring break in Mexico, just hours after arriving at his hotel. Two friends of 18-year-old Aiden Nevarez who were with him on the trip told 12 News that they and Nevarez had checked in to the Hotel Riu Santa Fe on Sunday, and that Nevarez fell over a short wall that was about knee height that same evening. The greenery on the other side of the wall, which looked like bushes but were really the tops of palm trees, disguised the fact that there was a 20-foot drop, say his friends.

How exactly Nevarez ended up going over the wall is unclear, but his death certificate says he died from a fall and that it was accidental, per Arizona's Family. The document doesn't note if he had alcohol or drugs in his system. His body had been set to be flown home on Thursday. Nevarez graduated last year from Phoenix's Pinnacle High School, where he was on the wrestling team.

"Aiden was a happy, charismatic young man that lit up any room he walked into," writes a woman who IDs herself as family friend Tracy Fitzgerald on the GoFundMe she set up for Nevarez's family. "As you can imagine, the horrific news of Aiden's passing has been devastating to his family, friends, and all who knew and loved Aiden." The GoFundMe had raised more than $95,000 as of early Friday afternoon. (More Arizona State University stories.)

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