By Rob Bradfield
The McLennan County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Friday that the body found in a burning car on Eastland Lakes Road Thursday morning belongs to Baylor freshman Will Patterson.
Dallas County medical examiners received the body late Thursday. Using dental records the examiners were able to make a positive identification Friday.
The report came at the same time as a statement by Bill Martin, executive director of Phi Gamma Delta, the fraternity that Patterson was pledging.
“The officers and staff of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity offer our condolences to the family of Will Patterson, to the members of our chapter at Baylor, and to all those in the Baylor community who are mourning Will’s passing,” the statement said.
“We have communicated today with chapter leaders and with alumni of the Chapter who are advising the chapter, to offer support and guidance, and will continue to do so. We appreciate the support that our members have received from the Baylor administration and staff.”
Baylor has also issued a statement offering condolences to the Patterson family, and support for those grieving Patterson.
“The thoughts and prayers of all of us in the Baylor family are with the Pattersons, and with Will’s friends here on our campus and in his hometown of San Antonio, as they mourn this devastating loss,” the statement said.
Patterson’s Cadillac CTS was found early Thursday morning by the Robinson Fire Department, and McLennan County Sheriff’s deputies. Patterson’s body, initially unidentifiable, was found in the back seat. Patterson had been missing since the car was found.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, the cause of death has not yet been determined, but a full investigation has been underway since Thursday morning. Authorities are treating the incident as a questionable death. Baylor’s statement also said the university will assist the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office with the ongoing investigation.
Statement from Baylor University sent today by email:
Late this afternoon, the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office and the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the loss of Baylor student William Patterson in yesterday’s tragedy. We are deeply saddened to receive this news about Will, who was a freshman film and digital media major from San Antonio. We have expressed our deepest condolences to Will’s family and will continue to extend to them every measure of care that we can during this very difficult time. We are also providing support services for students on our campus who are grieving the loss of their friend and classmate.
The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation and we remain in contact with them, assisting them in any way possible.
The thoughts and prayers of all of us in the Baylor family are with the Pattersons, and with Will’s friends here on our campus and in his hometown of San Antonio, as they mourn this devastating loss.