Father of Univ. of Iowa student: No alcohol found in Gerald Belz's system

Published: Jan. 30, 2019 at 4:31 PM CST
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The father of a University of Iowa student who died after being found outside and unresponsive on campus early Wednesday morning said his son was a good kid and has a lot of questions surrounding his son's death.

Gerald Belz, 18, a second-year pre-medicine major, was found on campus behind Halsey Hall at about 2:48 a.m. by University of Iowa Police. He was transported to the hospital where he later died. Officials said they believed the cause of death is weather-related. Meteorologists said the wind chill at that time in Iowa City was -51 degrees.

Gerald's father, Michael Belz, spoke to KCRG-TV9 Wednesday afternoon. Michael said doctors have told him that alcohol was not found in his son's system at the time of his death.

Michael said Gerald was sending messages to his girlfriend using the social media platform Snapchat late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The messages indicated that Gerald was going to bed with no plans to go out.

Michael said his son was in his first year at the University of Iowa but was academically considered a second-year student. Gerald was a pre-medicine major and wanted to become a cardiologist.

"It was so surreal seeing the news," said Shay Deutmeyer, Gerald's friend. "He is one of the nicest people I've ever met."

Gerald graduated from Cedar Rapids' Kennedy High School.

An investigation into his death is ongoing. The university canceled classes until Thursday due to the dangerous cold. At least seven deaths are attributed to the extremely cold weather in the Midwest