The parents of Clemson University student Tucker Hipps, who was found dead on Sept. 22 in Lake Hartwell, have released a statement about the loss of their son on Tuesday. Attorney Trevor White released the statement on behalf of the parents of 19-year-old Hipps on Tuesday. In the statement, Gary and Cindy Hipps said:"We would first like to thank our family, friends and community for their outpouring of love and support through the most painful days of our lives. We are not sure where we would be without the kind words and generosity of so many people. We are encouraged by the compassion and sympathy shown to us by familiar faces and complete strangers. It helps us to know that Tucker touched so many lives in his short nineteen years on this Earth."Though we have lost our son and best friend, we find some comfort in the stories regarding Tucker's positive impact on so many people. We can never replace the feeling of loss in our hearts, but knowing Tucker touched so many individuals gives us some relief."We would also like to thank the investigators for their hard work. We would ask that everyone please pray for the investigators as they continue their search for answers as to the circumstances surrounding Tucker's untimely death. If anyone has any information on Tucker's death, please call investigators at the Oconee County Sheriff's Department."Hipps' body was found under the Highway 93 bridge more than nine hours after he was on an activity pledge run with his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, according to Oconee County deputies.Since then, not much about his death or the investigation has been released. Coroner Karl Addis said Hipps' cause of death was due to a head injury consistent with an unsupported fall. On Monday, Addis said he would not be releasing the autopsy report due to the South Carolina Supreme Court ruling that they were considered personal health information.He said the manner of death is pending investigation and would not release further information until the sheriff's office investigation is complete.Last week, Sheriff Mike Crenshaw released a statement saying there has been no indication in the investigation that hazing played a part in Hipps' death. He emphasized the investigation is ongoing and asked anyone who may have seen something on the bridge or who has any information to call 864-638-4111.
In a statement released Saturday, the fraternity stated the morning pledge run that Hipps took part in, which frat leaders said is part of a new member education program submitted to campus administrators this semester, may have been in violation of the fraternity's policies and procedures.Hipps was laid to rest on Sunday where friends, family, students and many more gathered at Rock Springs Baptist Church to pay their respects. Click here for continuing coverage on the investigation, community's response to Hipps' death.
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