Police: Boulder drugging investigation dropped after botched blood tests

Photo courtesy: CBS Denver
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BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) — An investigation into the possible drugging of multiple female University of Colorado students at parties on University Hill last fall has been closed — at least in part because of problems with the blood samples drawn from the alleged victims. Without testing, detectives could not prove any of the women were drugged.

“The cases are considered closed, but could be reopened with new evidence,” Patrick von Keyserling, the city of Boulder’s Communications Director told CBS4.

According to the Boulder Police Department, six female CU students reported they believed they were drugged the night of Oct. 17. Three of the women were hospitalized at Boulder Community Health’s Foothills Hospital that night or the next morning, and had their blood drawn, according to the Boulder Daily Camera.

Boulder police confirmed the details of the report to CBS4.

“All of the women described similar nights that included going to fraternity parties on University Hill and drinking from a community bottle of vodka before waking up with little memory of anything after that,” the Camera reported. Three of the women reported being at a party at Sigma Phi Epsilon. The other three said they were at the Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa and Sigma Pi fraternities.

Symptoms of being drugged include memory loss, breathing or motion difficulties and acting disproportionately intoxicated relative to the amount of alcohol consumed, police stated.

Police obtained a warrant for the blood samples on Oct. 23, and sent them to Chematox for testing, the Camera reported. However, the samples coagulated and by the time investigators discovered the problem it was too late to draw another sample.

“Blood was drawn from these patients for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment,” the paper quoted spokesman Rich Sheehan as stating. “We followed our standard protocols.”

According to the Camera, Sheehan said warrants for blood draws are not unusual and this is the first time they had been informed of a problem with testing of blood samples.

The Camera said they reached out to Chematox but company officials did not return requests for more information.

“We weren’t able to prove a drugging had occurred, that’s why it was closed as ‘unfounded,'” the Camera quoted Boulder police spokeswoman Shannon Aulabaugh as saying. “It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, it just means we did not have the evidence for the case to proceed.”

Anyone who may have additional information on this case should call Detective Sergeant Barry Hartkopp at 303-441-3473. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips may also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.