Mother says Madrid police indicate son may have been drugged, Sacramento Bee reports
March 8, 2011 (San Diego) – The body of Austin Taylor Bice, a San Diego State University exchange student studying abroad in Spain, has been found in the Manzaneres River near the Spanish nightclub where he was last seen February 25th, SDSU’s news center announced today.
“The San Diego State campus is saddened byt his tragic news which confirms our worst fears,” SDSU president Stephen Weber said in a prepared statement. “Our thoughts this morning are with Austin’s family and friends who have our deepest sympathies.”
Police drained the river in their search for Bice and have indicated no sign of foul play, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. His father was in Madrid when the tragic news came. Bice’s disappearance led to an international search, with police across Europe notified.
Initial news reports indicated that Bice was denied entry to the nightclub after drinking too much, but friends later said that wasn’t true and that Bice merely told them he’d changed his plans for the evening and decided to walk home, CNN reports today.
Bice, the son of Larry and Pamela Bice of Carlsbad, was a graduate of Torrey Pines High School. He was raised in the Granite Bay area near Sacramento. Most recently, he was attending Carlos III University in Spain, where he was an international business major.
His mother thanked supporters for their help yesterday at her home in Carlsbad, where she remained waiting by the phone in hopes that her son would call, the Union-Tribune reported. “It is amazing how the people of San Diego and — all over the world actually — have come together in support, she said.
In an interview with the Sacramento Bee today, Pamela Bice said an autopsy is scheduled. She also told the Bee that Madrid police believe her son may have been drugged. According to the Bee, Pamela Bice said her son was not a drinker, and possibly fell and became disoriented. Some witnesses have said that a doorman at the Madrid disco thought Bice looked ill and suggested he sit down and rest, the Bee reported.
Last night, around 150 students, teachers and friends held a candlelight vigil for Bice at SDSU in hopes that he would be found safely. But today, those hopes were extinguished.